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EU Feed Production Slightly Increased in 2012

06 January 2014

EU - In 2012, 153.5 million tonnes of compound feed were produced by EU compounders, according to a new report from the animal feed producers association.

The value of livestock production - amounting to €148 billion - accounts for 41 per cent of the overall EU-27 agricultural output, amounting to €361 billion in 2012, according to the European Compound Feed Manufacturers Federation (FEFAC) in its recently published Food and Feed Statistical Yearbook 2012.

Animal feedingstuffs, including feed materials and compound feeds, are the main input into livestock production. Within the EU-27, about 470 million tonnes of feedingstuffs are consumed by livestock each year. Out of this quantity, 230 million tonnes mostly are roughages grown and used on the farm of origin. The balance, i.e. 240 million tonnes of feed, includes cereals grown and used on the farm of origin (53 million tonnes) and feed purchased by livestock producers to supplement their own feed resources (either feed materials or compound feed).

In 2012, 153.5 million tonnes of compound feed were produced by EU compounders, accounting for 82 per cent of all purchased feedingstuffs.

Feed Production in the EU

The value of all feedingstuffs used by EU livestock producers including forages produced on the farm is estimated at €85 billion in 2012. This accounts for 39 per cent of all inputs and 57.5 per cent of the turnover in livestock production.

Purchases of compound feed amounted, in 2011, to €51 billion.

Compound feed are manufactured from a mixture of raw materials designed to achieve pre-determined performance objectives among animals. These raw materials are obtained from a wide variety of sources. Hence, the industry provides a major market for EU cereals, oilseeds and pulses. Some raw materials are obtained from the co-products of the food industry. Other important ingredients which cannot be grown in sufficient quantity in the EU are imported from third countries. These diverse sources of raw material supplies are an important factor in the industry's ability to manufacture feeds of both high quality and at competitive prices for livestock farmers.

Changing Technology and Legislation

The compound feed industry has become capital intensive in recent years and makes use of a very high level of technology. Advanced methods are used to formulate feeds according to the demands of the livestock farmer, which reflects final consumer demand – and to control the raw materials used, the manufacturing process and the quality of the finished feeds.

The compound feed industry is subject to a complex body of both EU and national legislation affecting almost every part of its operation. This legislation is designed to ensure that feeds are of high quality and are safe for both livestock and consumers.

EU Market for Meat, Dairy Products and Eggs

The market for feedingstuffs depends on the market for livestock products. According to FEFAC, in 2012, the EU-27 livestock population produced 47.5 million tonnes of meat - comprising 7.5 million tonnes of beef, 21.9 million tonnes of pork and 12.7 million tonnes of poultry meat - 141 million tonnes of milk and 7.3 million tonnes of eggs.

Average per-capita consumption of meat (including horse meat and offals) in 2012 was 86.9kg, compared to only 50kg in the EC-6 during the late 1950s.

Compound Feed Production in EU: 1960s to Date

Compound feed production in the EC-9 grew by over 7.5 per cent per year during the 1960s and early 70s, according to the FEFAC report. This reflected the development of the demand for animal products closely linked to the increasing purchasing power. In addition, particularly in the pig and poultry sectors, production was becoming more intensive requiring greater use of industrial compound feed to meet high performance and quality requirements.

For the remainder of the 1970s, annual average growth in EC-9 compound feed production slowed down to a rate stabilising at only 4.4 per cent. This lower rate partly reflected the effects of the 1973 "oil price shock" on consumers' incomes.

After a period of steady increase from the mid 1980s on, consumption of all livestock products grew more slowly because of the saturation of the EU-15 market and increasing consumer concerns about health matters and animal welfare.

From 1996 on, the compound feed production suffered from the impact of the BSE crisis which resulted in a nine per cent reduction in cattle feed in 1998 compared to 1995. This decrease was offset by a parallel growth of consumers’ demand for white meat. As a result, compound feed production in the EU remained almost stable since 1996.

The 2004 and 2007 enlargements brought some 20 further million tonnes of compound feed to the EU production.

Further Reading

You can view the full report from FEFAC by clicking here.

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