UK: Poultry feed production leaving others in the shade

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© istock/tonefotografia
© istock/tonefotografia

Related tags Feed production Animal feed Fodder Meat Uk

Animal feed production for the UK was up 6.4% for poultry and 1.4% for cattle and calves but down 5.3% for pigs in December 2016 compared to same month a year earlier. 

The UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has released statistics for December 2016.

Its report showed there was 7.7% more wheat but 3.1% less barley in animal feed in December 2016 than in that month in 2015.  

From July to December 2016, feed production targeted at poultry increased by 3.3% but decreased by 7% for pigs and was down 1.3% for cattle compared to the previous crop year.

In that six-month period, the wheat use in feed increased 5.3% on the same months in 2015, while barley use dipped 7.5% compared to the previous crop year.

UK compound feed prices

The quarterly average price of compound feed for cattle and calves between October and December 2016 was £211 (USD$264) per ton, the price for pig compounds was £224 per ton, while, for poultry, the average price was £237 per ton, reported DEFRA.

The department compiles the data from survey returns submitted by all of the major UK feed companies.  

The poultry sector is set to be the major driver behind year-on year growth in total animal feed production in the UK, along with the sheep sector, to an extent, noted the UK's Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) in its cereals report​ in December 2016.

“While cattle feed demand, both dairy and beef, is anticipated lower on the year, the fall is not expected to be as sharp as previously, with milk prices beginning to increase. Pig and ‘other’ animal feed demand is forecast lower year on year,”​ it reported.

Pig production in the UK

The AHDB’s latest UK pig market update​ showed that, in December 2016, clean pig throughput was 6% down on the year, contributing to a 5% year-on-year fall in production. Sow slaughterings were also 9% below 2015 levels.

“UK pork export volume declined 3%, compared to November, to 17,000. This followed lower levels of domestic production for much of the year and lower demand from the continent in autumn,” ​said AHDB.

However, the weakness of the pound meant that the value of shipments remained significantly higher than in 2015.

The volume of bacon and products such as sausages, sold by UK retailers in the 12 weeks ending 1 January, jumped on the year, according to latest data from Kantar World panel. However, pork sales remained subdued in the same period.

The amount spent on fresh or frozen pork over this period was down over 7% on the year, following similar trends seen over recent months, said Kantar World. Pork volumes were again hit by consumers switching to other meats such as beef and poultry, noted the AHDB report.

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