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Bulgarian Compound Feed Industry Posts Near-Record Production in 2020

Source: Stelios Violaris for Feedinfo

9 April 2021 - Despite rising grain prices and the global economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic Bulgaria’s compound feed manufacturers have managed to buck the trend in 2020.

According to data published on the official website of the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency, Bulgaria produced 1.181 million tonnes of compound feed in 2020, just shy of the all time record of 1.190 million tonnes set in 2016. This represents a 5.8% increase on 2019, driven largely by a 6.6% increase in poultry feed production and 7.9% increase in ruminant feed production - categories accounting for respectively 51.1% and 16.1% of the total national production.

The country’s other significant sector (26.8% of national total) is compound feed for pigs which is reduced by 1.8% from 2019, continuing a trend of decline due to lower stocking levels following on from the epidemiological issues of 2019. The performance of this sector, which had grown significantly between 2009 (234,000 tonnes) and 2018 (353,000 tonnes) before being derailed by African Swine Fever (ASF), will be of concern as Bulgaria seeks to reinvigorate such a previously promising market.

Aside from pig feed, all other sectors demonstrated growth in production from 2019. Overall production increased in each successive quarter of 2020, returning to the long-term pattern that was disrupted in 2019 by ASF outbreaks, in a further strong indication that the feed sector is returning to business as usual after the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Encouraging signs of profitable diversification are present in the figures as compound feed for other species has risen by 38.4%, in its third consecutive year of growth. Although this sector is only 6% of the national total, it did contribute 29.1% (1.7%) of the total national increase of 5.8% and Bulgaria’s manufacturers will hope this promising market development continues into 2021.

In total 73.6% of compound feed produced was sold on the open market. The amount of total feed sold on the open market increased by 16.9% from 2019 while the amount of compound feed used directly by the producers decreased by 16.2% for the same period.