BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — The European Compound Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC) announced on June 5 that the E.U. 28’s total production estimate for compound feed production in 2013 is now set at 155 million tonnes, which represents a slight increase from the 154.7 million tonnes that were produced in 2012.

This information was released on the occasion of the 57th FEFAC Annual General Meeting “Greening the landscape for animal nutrition in Europe” on June 5-6 in Liège, Belgium. Pig feed production fell by 1.4%, whereas cattle feed increased by 2.2% in 2013. Poultry feed remained stable at +0.3%, thereby confirming its position of leading segment of compound feed above pig feed.

FEFAC noted that the most important factors which have weighed on the E.U. feed demand in 2013 were the cool weather in spring, which impacted negatively on availability of forages in Northern and Eastern Europe countries but provided a positive impulse in the Iberian peninsula and the still fragile economic situation of the pig sector, which affected the resilience of the pig production.

Among the largest producing countries, the U.K., Poland and Belgium confirmed the good results recorded in 2012, with an annual growth around 3% in 2013, boosted mainly by the demand for cattle feed. On the opposite side, the Netherlands, Portugal and Hungary saw their production continue falling around 2.5 / 3%. Among the top three producer countries, the production volume in France and Germany remained stable, whereas Spain fell back by -1.7%, thus allowing France to recover its position of second most important producing country. Germany stays in the lead. Production of pig feed dropped in almost all large countries, impacted in particular by the strong decline in sow herd resulting from the implementation of the group-housing requirements for sows.

FEFAC said that in 2014 market experts foresee a stabilization in poultry and cattle feed production and a further reduction in pig feed production (-1%). Overall, this would lead to a slight decrease in compound feed production in 2014 vs. 2013 (between -0.2 and -0.5%).

The export-led market demand for E.U. livestock products, in particular dairy products, is expected to continue, thus anticipating the end of the dairy quota system. This positive trend is expected to compensate for the potential reduction in feed demand induced by the good weather conditions favorable to forages yield. The generally favorable outlook on global grains and proteins production is expected to result in stable markets despite strong demand. This may lead to a slight increase in meat production in particular for pork. The expected good E.U. cereals harvest might however encourage home mixing in the E.U., which would directly impact on the industrial feed supply.

FEFAC said the political uncertainties linked to the situation in Ukraine and with regard to the impact of future free trade agreements both regarding tariff concessions for livestock imports to the E.U. and market access to raw materials are among the factors, which could affect both raw material supply and future investments in the E.U. livestock sector.