BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — Compound feed production in the E.U.-28 in 2015 reached 157.3 million tonnes, which is 0.6% more than in 2014, the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC) said. While cattle feed production dropped by 0.7%, pig feed and poultry feed grew by 0.6% and 1.2%, respectively. Poultry feed thereby further enforced its leading position in E.U. feed production.

Feed costs remained low and even decreased compared to 2014. This was due to a good 2015 cereals harvest in the E.U., both in terms of quantity and sanitary status, and a largely sufficient supply of oilseed meals globally, especially soybean meal. This compensated the still decreasing pig meat quotations to a certain extent, while pig meat production continued to increase by close to 4% in 2015.

In cattle feed, the picture is as usual contrasted across Europe, depending on weather conditions for forages production. The effect of the lifting of the quota regime, with a 2% increase of milk delivery in 2015 versus 2014, was hardly visible for the compound feed industry E.U.-wide, with the exception of Ireland and the Netherlands.

Poultry feed production continued to grow, boosted by an increase per capita in meat consumption (+2.7%), which primarily benefited to poultry meat (+4%). As a consequence, poultry feed consolidated its position as the leading segment of E.U. compound feed production, now well ahead of pig feed.

Poland and Spain have been the only well-performing member states among the largest E.U. producing countries, with annual growth close to 4%. Germany recorded a significant decrease (-2.9%) after five consecutive years of growth, whereas the U.K. was set back by more than 4%, especially because of bad results in poultry feed. All other major producers – France, Italy and the Netherlands – saw limited changes in their production records.

Germany and Spain are shoulder to shoulder in their position as leading E.U. countries in terms of total compound feed production, well ahead France.

FEFAC market experts are relatively pessimistic concerning industrial compound feed production in 2016. They do foresee the upward trend on poultry feed demand to persist, though at a slower pace than in 2015 (+0.5%), but also a significant reduction in pig feed demand (-1.5%), in line with expert forecasts on pig meat production in the E.U. Overall, this would lead to a 0.7% decrease in compound feed production in 2016 versus 2015.

On the feed materials side, concerns regarding the quality of the E.U. cereals harvest 2016 due to the humid and cold weather conditions in several E.U. member states may result in a higher supply of feed wheat. However, prudence will be required in regard to the sanitary quality. Concerning proteins, after the lower than expected South American soybean harvest in 
2016 combined with a higher global demand for soybean meal, the attention is put on the
U.S. soybean harvest, which is currently forecast to be good.