Members of the European Feed Manufacturers' Federation (FEFAC) showed lower compound feed production last year compared with 2013, in final estimates presented at the organisation's Annual General Meeting in Cologne recently.
Compound feed production in the EU-28 in 2014 reached 153.4 million t, which is 0.5 per cent less than in 2013.
While pig feed and cattle feed production dropped by 1.2 per cent, poultry feed has seen its volume of production grow by 0.3 per cent. As a consequence, poultry feed consolidated its position of leading segment of EU compound feed production, now well ahead of pig feed.
The most important factor having impacted feed production in 2014 is certainly the Russian ban (sanitary & economic) that started already in February 2014 as far as pigmeat is concerned and put additional pressure on farmers, especially pig and dairy farmers.
The good availability of forages due to favourable weather conditions and the sharp drop in dairy prices significantly affected the demand for compound feed for dairy cows, which did not benefit at all from the 5 per cent increase in milk deliveries in 2014.
Poland has been the only well performing Member State among the largest EU producing countries, with annual growth close to 7 per cent. Germany recorded also a significant increase (+2.3 per cent) while all other major producers, France, Spain, Italy, UK and The Netherlands, saw their production fall by -0.3 to -4.5 per cent.
Germany strengthened its position as the leading EU country in terms of total compound feed production, ahead of France and Spain.
Market Outlook for 2015
FEFAC market experts foresee a slight increase in poultry feed production (+0.5 per cent) and a further -1.5 per cent reduction in pig and cattle feed production over 2015, assuming the dairy market does not recover quickly. Overall, this would lead to a 0.7 per cent decrease in compound feed production in 2015 compared to 2014.
A number of common agricultural policy (CAP) and trade policy measures may impact performance of the feed market in 2015. These include the application of the greening measures in the CAP that may affect the supply of grains and oilseeds, but also the end of the milk quota system.
The ongoing negotiations with Russia on sanitary aspects, if concluded positively, could reactivate exports of certain pig products to Russia and alleviate the pressure on the pigmeat market.
Market quotations of feed commodities have been on the downward trend in 2013 and 2014 and the good global 2014 grain and oilseed harvest maintained this trend in the first half of 2015. The South American soya harvest is said to have increased in 2015 compared with 2014. However, some prudence is required, also as regards the EU grain harvest 2015.