Pedro Corrẽa de Barros, CEO of Grupo Nutroton in Portugal and current president of the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation, FEFAC, reported the federation’s latest estimate that EU-27 feed production in 2008 had reached some 150.6 million metric tons. This would compare with a final total of 150.3 million metric tons for 2007. FEFAC analysts think the total EU demand for compound feeds could drop by about 4% this year in the wake of the current international financial crisis, de Barros said.

Ruminant feeds are expected to be hit hardest, followed by pig feed. However, the uptake of poultry feeds could be maintained this year to meet a switchover by beef and pork consumers to cheaper forms of protein while the recession continues.

The chart from his presentation shows France remaining Europe’s biggest national feed producer in 2008 despite French volumes not changing from the 22.4 million metric tons/year recorded for 2007. In second place, Germany grew its own tonnage from 21.3 million tons to 21.8 million tons. However, Spain dropped from 20.3 million tons to 19.2 million tons. Netherlands feed production increased from 13.7 million tons in 2007 to 14.5 million tons in 2008.