7 June 2021 - EU compound feed production (EU-27 + UK) in 2020 is estimated at 164.9 million tonnes, an increase of 0.1% compared to 2019, according to data provided by FEFAC members. The picture is somewhat brighter compared with the preliminary annual FEFAC data released in November 2020 indicating that compound feed production in the EU-27 + UK in 2020 would amount to 161.4 million tonnes (down 2.2% compared with 2019).
FEFAC commented: “Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its heavy impact on several sectors including HORECA (Hotel/Restaurant/Catering) and tourism, the European compound feed industry managed to keep its production at a stable pace, contrary to early predictions. While cattle and poultry feed saw a decline, all other sectors experienced production growth compared to 2019.”
A 0.8% decrease in poultry feed production was recorded in 2020, which is the first drop in 10 years. This is a result of the combined effect of the spread of bird flu and COVID-19 lockdown measures.
“In 2020, there were two seasons of the HPAI epidemic in Europe depressing the poultry sector. In earlier months of 2020, the disease was detected in Poland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary while in autumn the disease hit the Netherlands, Denmark, Croatia, France, Ireland, Sweden, UK, Poland and Germany,” said FEFAC.
COVID-19 lockdown measures and overall decrease in tourism had a negative effect on poultry feed production, especially in Spain where output dropped substantially by almost 20% compared to 2019.
Cattle feed production slightly decreased by 0.2% mainly due to the indirect impact of COVID-19 and the closure of the HORECA chain. However, the drier than normal spring season and poor grass growth in several countries favoured industrial cattle feed production.
Meanwhile, pig feed production increased by 1.3 % in 2020, mainly because several countries increased their exports to China benefiting from Germany’s export ban. Furthermore, due to the COVID-19 problems with slaughterhouses capacity, many fattening pigs stayed on farm longer than usual, which led to higher feed consumption.
FEFAC did not provide an estimate for 2021 EU compound feed production but said it is expected that market problems for animal products resulting from the combination of COVID-19, bird flu and African swine fever impacts will continue and as such impact industrial compound feed production.
“Next to that, the impact of the EU Green Deal policy agenda and national authorities’ initiatives to tackle the environmental emissions (Belgium, The Netherlands – ammonia emissions) and welfare issues (Germany) continue to create additional pressure on the EU livestock and feed sector,” FEFAC commented.