US farmers are also reportedly anxious that slaughterhouses might see more measured production due to COVID-19 restrictions, thus forcing farmers to hold onto animals for longer than they normally would, increasing costs.
To add to their challenges, as ethanol plants shut down in the US, the livestock feed market there is also seeing a distinct lack of the by-product from that sector, dried distillers grains (DDGs).
Bloomberg noted that French feed producers had intensified ingredient purchases at the start of the lockdown, the story was similar in Germany.
“France’s Avril Group also experienced strong demand in the past few weeks as customers rushed to finalize purchases over concerns that production could be suspended as biodiesel demand plummeted. And German farm cooperative, Agravis Raiffeisen AG, said there was some panic meal buying from feed makers, while Munich-based grain trader BayWa AG saw hoarding in northwest Europe.”
David Webster, head of animal nutrition and health at Cargill, told the media outlet that the company had seen its global feed sales volume jump 10% or more in the past month. Initially, the hike in feed consumption was only see in China, he said. Now the agribusiness giant is seeing a huge growth in sales in every market it is active in.
Sales at Purina Animal Nutrition livestock business increased only slightly but the pet food side of its operations has seen a boost of over 20%, David Hoogmoed, its president, told the reporters.
The company has kept its more than 60 mills operating, adding overtime and some weekend shifts, he added.