June 26, 2006


EU cattle, pig feed output seen down one percent in 2006



European Union cattle and pig feed production are both expected to fall by 1 percent in 2006, according to estimates released by the European Compound Feed Manufacturers' Federation (FEFAC) Friday (Jun 23).


The drop in cattle feed output reflects a long standing downward trend, the trade group said. Production of pig feed is also set for a small decline despite an expected reversal from the recent downtrend trend in new EU member states such as Poland.


EU poultry feed output in 2006 is still high dependent on any further developments in bird flu. FEFAC said poultry feed production dropped over 10 percent at the start of the year, due to fears of bird flu, despite the absence of any large scale outbreaks.


"Since media attention has ebbed progressively, a recovery towards more normal EU poultry consumption levels per capita may still be possible," said FEFAC.


The return to more normal rates would keep the decline in EU poultry feed production in 2006 at around 4 percent, but if further infections are seen a larger drop is possible. The trade group said the return of bird flu could cause poultry feed output to fall as much as 25 percent in certain countries on a monthly basis.


FEFAC estimated EU compound feed production (outside of Luxembourg, Malta and Greece) at 143.3 million tonnes in 2005, down 0.8 percent from the previous year. Within that figure feed for pigs totalled 47.34 million tonnes, for poultry 45.97 million tonnes and for cattle 38.01 million tonnes.


France was the leading producer of animal feed at 21.99 million tonnes in 2005, followed by Spain with 21.09 million tonnes and Germany with 19.61 million tonnes.