COMPOUND FEED PRODUCTION dropped by 0.9% in 2019, new figures reveal, with the poultry sector the only across agriculture to register positive growth.

Poultry feed production grew by 0.1%, lower than previous years in reflection of feed efficiency gains and higher imports, the European Compound Feed Manufacturers Federation (FEFAC) said.

But the group predicted that, in 2020, poultry feed production would drop by 5.2% as coronavirus hits the out of home food sector.

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Farm animals consumed an estimated 834m tonnes of feed a year, of which about 20% is produced by compound feed manufacturers. Turnover of those businesses is about €50bn.

Overall decline

FEFAC surveys its members every year and in 2019 found an overall decline in compound feed production of 0.9%.

Cattle feed production decreased by 2.2% when compared with 2018 when drought led to poor forage harvests driving demand for feed grains and compound feed.

Pig feed production was down by 0.5%, mainly because of African Swine Fever outbreaks. The most affected regions were Romania (down 20%) and Bulgaria (down 9%). In ASF-free countries demand was broadly the same or slightly higher.

Poultry Market Outlook

Covid-19 has had a marked impact on the poultry sector, which has relatively quickly cut production – in some countries by 10%, according to FEFAC.

In addition to coronavirus closing the foodservice sector, avian influenza across central and Eastern Europe, as well as Ireland, are leading to reduced demand.

Overall, FEFAC estimates feed production to drop by between 3-6% in 2020, although it admits an accurate projection is difficult.

“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,” the report said.

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