Total feed production was up 0.6% from the 156.5 million tonnes produced in 2014, FEFAC said in a June report. FEFAC represents 25 national associations in 24 E.U. member states along with associations in Switzerland, Turkey, Serbia, Russia and Norway. The E.U. compound feed industry employees 110,000 people on 4,000 production sites. Animal feed consumption in the E.U.-28 is estimated at 480 million tonnes per year, of which 30% is produced by compound feed manufacturers. Turnover in the industry is estimated at €50 billion.
Cattle feed production dropped in 2015 by 0.7% to 42.4 million tonnes, but pig feed increased 0.6% to 50.2 million tonnes and poultry feed increased 1.2% to 52.6 million tonnes.
“Poultry feed thereby further enforced its leading position in E.U. feed production,” FEFAC said, putting it well ahead of pig feed.
FEFAC said poultry feed production was boosted by a 2.7% increase in per capita meat consumption, which primarily benefited poultry meat. Consumption of poultry meat increased 4%.
Cattle feed production varied across Europe, FEFAC said, depending on weather conditions for forage production. The effect of lifting of the milk quota regime in 2015 was hardly visible for the compound feed industry E.U.-wide, with the exception of Ireland and the Netherlands. The E.U. eliminated its milk quota system that has limited production for the last three decades.
Overall feed costs have remained low and even decreased compared to 2014, FEFAC said. The decrease was attributed to a good 2015 cereal harvest in the E.U. in terms of quantity and sanitary status, and a largely sufficient supply of oilseed meals globally, particularly soybean meal.
“This compensated the still decreasing pigmeat quotations to a certain extent, while pigmeat production continued to increase by close to 4% in 2015,” FEFAC said.
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FEFAC said Poland and Spain have been the only well-performing member states with annual growth close to 4%. Poland produced 9.7 million tonnes and Spain produced 23.3 million tonnes. In 2014, Poland was the only well-performing member state with annual growth that year of close to 7%.
Germany saw a significant decrease of 2.8% to 23.3 million tonnes following five years of consecutive growth. The U.K. saw feed production drop more than 4% to 14.8 million tonnes due to bad results in poultry feed.
Germany and Spain are shoulder-to-shoulder, FEFAC said, in their position as leading E.U. countries in terms of total compound feed production, well ahead of France.
All other major producers, including France, Italy and the Netherlands, saw limited changes in their production numbers. France produced 21.1 million tonnes, a drop of 0.4%, while Italy produced 14.3 million tonnes, an increase of 1.4%. The Netherlands produced 14.2 million tonnes, an increase of 0.7%.
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FEFAC market experts are pessimistic about the outlook for compound feed production this year. An upward trend (0.5%) is expected on poultry feed demand, but at a slower pace than in 2015. However, a significant reduction, about 1.5%, is anticipated in pig feed, in line with forecasts on pigmeat production in the E.U. Overall, this is expected to lead to a 0.7% decrease in compound feed production in 2016 vs. 2015.
On the feed materials side, concerns about the quality of the E.U. cereals harvest in 2016 due to humid and cold weather in many member states may result in a larger supply of feed wheat. However, livestock producers will have to be aware of quality concerns.
Focus will be on the U.S. soybean harvest, which as of mid-July was positive, for proteins. The harvest will be important given the lower than expected South American soybean harvest and higher global demand for soybean meal.