They anticipate a moderate 0.5% increase in compound feed production in 2018 compared to 2017 but any further outbreaks of Avian Influenza (AI) and African swine fever could be decisive.
Experts at that EU feed trade group said demand for cattle and pig feed in the EU should stabilize over the next 12 months.
The dairy sector still needs to recover from the severe milk price crisis and get rid of the vast stocks of skimmed milk powder, while a number of factors will weigh in on the development of EU pig production, said FEFAC.
“Present figures show an expansion of the sow herd. However, the effective development of pig meat production and the subsequent demand for pig feed will also depend on the global demand for pig meat, which is expected to stabilize. Also, the development of national legislation on manure and phosphorous emissions can have an impact.”
Meanwhile, the feed industry representatives expect a 1% hike in poultry feed demand in 2018. That estimate is based on the EU poultry consumption trends. The FEFAC experts said poultry feed usage could be slightly curtailed, though, by EU producers moving to reduce bird stock density linked to animal welfare.
Moreover, they anticipate that EU poultry exports will continued to be hit by AI restrictions in certain markets.
Compound feed data for 2017
FEFAC also released figures showing the industrial compound feed production for farmed animals in the EU-28 in 2017 reached an estimated level of 156.7 million tons, which came in at 0.2% more than the year prior.
The organization’s members provided the data.
Poland, for the fourth year in a row, was the best performing country, with annual growth of total compound feed production of +7.5%, boosted by the demand for poultry feed but also dairy feed.
Among the largest compound feed producing countries, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy maintained their production of compound feed, whereas it dipped slightly in France and Spain. UK, though, increased its production by almost 2%.
Germany strengthened its position as leading EU country in terms of total compound feed production, ahead of Spain and France.
Dairy, poultry and pig feed figures
The recovery of milk prices following the abolition of the milk quota mid-2015 has encouraged EU dairy farmers to resume purchases of high performing feed to boost milk production, resulting in an aggregate increase in EU cattle feed output of 1% in 2017, reported FEFAC.
EU poultry feed production remained almost stable in 2017. It is still the leading segment of EU industrial compound feed production, well ahead of pig feed, said the trade group.
However, the AI outbreak severely affected some poultry producing regions of Europe, particularly duck farming for foie gras in France and Hungary.
While some EU countries saw their poultry feed production stabilize or slightly decrease, Poland recorded a 7% growth in that feed category for the third consecutive year, according to the data.
On the pig feed side, FEFAC said the setback recorded in 2016 was confirmed in 2017 (-1%), in line with the developments around EU pig meat production last year.
“The global demand for pig meat, in particular from China, supported the recovery of market prices in the EU. However, this did not translate into a recovery of pig production, in particular due to the still persistent effects of African Swine Fever in Eastern Europe.”
FEFAC said the final estimate and detailed breakdown of the 2017 figures will be release in June on the margins of its AGM.