There was a significant increase in the compound feed demand for cattle in the first quarter of 2019 arising from poor forage stocks after the drought and heat waves in 2018. Demand did not stay at that level though due to certain factors such as the resumption of normal weather conditions and increasing restrictions on phosphorous emissions in some countries, so much so that cattle feed demand fell by 2.3% overall in the EU in 2019 compared to last year.
Ireland recorded the biggest decrease in cattle feed demand, it saw a drop of 15%, with the UK following close behind - demand for cattle feed there in 2019 was lower by 7%, reported FEFAC.
Poultry feed production in the EU in 2019 is estimated to jump by just 0.1%, and that is well below the expected rise in poultry meat production in the EU, which is forecast to increase by 2.5% this year. The lower poultry feed demand could be caused by the sharp increase in poultry meat imports, particularly from Brazil, and a result also of enhanced feed efficiency, noted the trade representatives.
Nevertheless, EU poultry feed production remains the leading segment of EU industrial compound feed production, well ahead of pig feed, said FEFAC.
Pig feed production is expected to decrease by 0.9% in 2019. Despite growing export opportunities as a result of the trade dispute between China and the US, and the prevalence of African Swine Fever virus (ASFv) in many Asian countries, EU pork production increased only moderately. The EU countries affected the most by ASFv outbreaks on commercial farms recorded dramatic production decreases, with output 15% lower in Romania and down 9% in Bulgaria.
Next year, the demand for poultry feed in the EU will largely depend on the extent to which Brazil will recover its leading position on the global poultry meat market, and how much it exports to the EU. “The demand for poultry feed is expected to vary within a range of -0.5/+1.5%,” forecast FEFAC.
EU pig feed production is expected to remain stable in 2020 under a ‘best case’ scenario, said the trade group.
“Of course, should ASFv spread to leading pig producing countries - Spain, Germany, Denmark or the Netherlands - the outlook may be affected dramatically.”
Overall, industrial compound feed production is likely to be steady in 2020, with a +/- 2% uncertainty margin, said FEFAC.