EU compound feed production barely edges up in 2017
The EU produced an estimated 156.7 million tonnes of industrial compound feed last year, up 0.2% over 2016, according to the European Feed Manufacturers' Federation, or FEFAC.
Poultry feed production remained as the leading segment of EU industrial compound feed production, well ahead of pig feed, even as the avian influenza outbreak severely impacted some poultry-producing regions of Europe, especially duck farming for foie gras in France and Hungary.
Several EU countries saw their poultry feed production stabilise and even slightly decrease, except for Poland, which recorded a 7% growth for the third consecutive year.
Pig feed production in 2017 suffered a 1% decline as pigmeat production in the EU last year failed to recover due to the persistent effects of African swine fever in Eastern Europe.
EU cattle feed production increased 1% in 2017 as the drought on the Iberic peninsula affected the forages supply and resulted in a higher demand for compound feed. Also, the recovery of milk prices encouraged dairy farmers to resume purchases of high-performing feed to maximise milk production.
The best-performing country for the fourth year in a row, Poland's total compound feed production in 2017 grew 7.5%, boosted by the demand for poultry and dairy feeds. Among the largest compound feed-producing countries, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy maintained their production of compound feed, while France and Spain recorded a drop of 1% and 3%, respectively. UK increased its production by almost 2%.
This year, FEFAC expects a moderate 0.5% increase in compound feed production vis-à-vis 2017. Rick Alberto