Compound feed production 2020 expected to fall by 2.2%

2020 EU compound feed production has been adversely affected by the spread of animal diseases and is indirectly impacted by COVID-19 due to a shift in consumer demand for products of animal origin.

EU compound feed production (EU 27 + UK) for farmed animals[1] in 2020 is estimated at 161,4 mio. t., a decrease of -2.2% compared to 2019, according to forecast data provided by FEFAC members. All main feed categories are set to decrease, mainly as a result of the combined indirect impact of COVID-19 affecting consumer demand for products of animal origin and the direct effects of the spread of animal diseases (African Swine Fever, Avian Influenza).

Cattle feed production, which is  estimated to decrease by -2.9% compared to the previous year, is suffering most from the COVID-19 measures applied during the first and second waves, in particular the closure of the HORECA chain (Hotel/Restaurant/Catering). The decreased demand for more expensive cuts of meat, like veal, fresh meat and added valued dairy products, have impacted the whole supply chain. Farmers have reduced usage of compound feed in their feed ratios, in order to reduce milk output and slowing growth of livestock. This was only partially compensated by rising demand in Eastern Europe where drought conditions led to poor forage harvests.

Concerning EU pig feed production, a decrease by -1.1% has been forecast. Spreading African Swine Fever triggered the Chinese import ban of pig meat from Germany. Spain can only partially replace Germany in exporting to China, due to limited production capacity. A knock-on effect of the ban is that pig meat initially destined for export to China will stay in Europe, impacting pig feed production. On top of ASF, some Member States, (e.g. The Netherlands), are depopulating their pig herds in order to lower agricultural environmental emissions. Poultry feed production, is set to decrease by -2.7% after several years of steady increases. The poultry sector reacted to the COVID-19 lockdown measures launched in spring 2020 by reducing its production, leading to significantly lower demand for poultry feed. Following a period of partial recovery during the summer months, a further decrease is expected by the end of the year, mainly in Romania, Ireland and Spain. Avian influenza spreading in several parts of Europe will hamper any recovery on the ground. Poultry feed production may possibly lose its position as leading segment EU industrial compound feed production to pig feed, for the first time after more than a decade, as a result of a continuous downward trend.

[1] From 2016 on, FEFAC no longer includes dry petfood production in its statistics, considering that a large part of the production was missing in national statistics.