PRESS RELEASE: EU Compound feed production in 2019 down by 0.8%

A further significant decrease expected in 2020 due to COVID-19 impacts

Compound feed production estimates for 2019 

The industrial compound feed production for farmed animals[1] in the EU-28[2] for 2019 is estimated at 163,3 mio. t, i.e. 0.8% lower than in 2018, according to data provided by FEFAC members.

As regards cattle feed, production decreased by 2.0 % compared to 2018, when drought conditions led to the poor forage harvests which were compensated by demand for feed grains and compound feed. Favourable weather conditions in 2019 meant a return to normal cattle feed demand patterns. The biggest decrease was reported in Ireland (18%) in 2019.

Poultry feed production for 2019 is estimated to have increased by only 0.1 %. The increase of poultry meat imports but also feed efficiency gains explain the lower demand increase. EU poultry feed production remains the leading segment of EU industrial compound feed production, well ahead of pig feed.

Pig feed production decreased by 0.5 % in 2019, mainly due to ASF outbreaks, the most impacted countries were Romania (which saw a reduction of 20 %) and Bulgaria (-9%). In “ASF-free countries” pig feed production was reported to be at the same or slightly higher levels in 2019.

EU 28

(mio.t)20182019%Var 2019/2018
Cattle feed47.746.8-2.0
Pig feed51.551-0.5
Poultry feed55550.1

Market outlook for 2020

The poultry sector reacted faster to the COVID-19 lockdown measures and reduced production, resulting in a significant reduction in demand for poultry feed. In certain countries the expected loss in production has been estimated to be up to 10 % compared to 2019. Overall, the estimate for EU-27 poultry feed production is expected provisionally to show a reduction of 5.2%, thus ending the positive trend over the past decade. The negative trend is being driven not only by the immediate COVID-19 impacts, but also by other factors: a) ongoing import of poultry products into the EU from third countries, currently causing an oversupply and b) new outbreaks of avian influenza not only in Central and South-Eastern Europe (PL, HU, RO) but also in Ireland.

The production of pig feed in the EU-27 is expected to decrease by 2.3 % this year compared to 2019, in line with the general downward trend observed over the past few years. Although several countries are still impacted by ASF outbreaks (PL, HU, RO, BU) other countries (still “ASF-free”) benefit from continued export opportunities for pigs, mainly to Asian countries due to their recovery from ASF and delays in rebuilding their own pig herds.

As regards cattle feed, the production has been very much influenced by the closure of the HORECA (Hotel/Restaurant/Catering) chain and its reduced decreased demand for meat (especially veal, beef) and dairy products (cheeses). Farmers have started to reduce milk production, by lowering compound feeding. In addition, stricter environmental regulations are creating additional pressures on livestock herds. Although Europe is experiencing another dry spring which reduces forage availability, the cattle feed production in the EU-27 is expected to decrease by 4.1%.

As a result, industrial compound feed production is expected to decrease in 2020 by a range of -3% to -6%, although uncertainty levels still remain high due to many unpredictable parameters, including continued animal disease outbreaks and impacts on demand for products of animal origin linked to the pace and scope of national COVID-19 deconfinement measures.

[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.

[2] Greece, Malta and Luxembourg excluded