FeedMagazine

The German animal feed industry remains at a constant level. According to the latest market surveys, 287 companies subject to reporting requirements throughout Germany produced a total of 23.9 million tonnes of compound feed for livestock and pets in the 2019/2020 marketing year. The figures collected by the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE) were published by the German Feed Association(DVT) on the occasion of its general meeting, which was held digitally this year. "Although the number of producers has only slightly decreased by 6 companies compared to the previous year, the continuous decline of compound feed producers continues," explained Jan Lahde, President of the DVT.

With 171 companies (i.e. almost 60 percent), the north of the republic remains the centre of compound feed production. The average production volume achieved per farm in the 2019/2020 marketing year was around 83,000 tonnes. This represents an increase of 2.5 percent. The growth threshold of the companies remains at an annual production of 100,000 to 200,000 tonnes. Their volume has increased steadily since 2016/2017 to the present. On the other hand, companies in the listed size category have been able to continuously expand their market share during this period. Companies under 100,000 tonnes have reduced their production to a large extent over the last few years.

With around 73 percent of total production (17.4 million tonnes), the northern states had by far the largest share in compound feed production. The volume in the southern states was down 0.4 per cent to 3 million tonnes. The eastern part of the country produced 3.5 million tonnes, which was around 3 percent less than in the previous year.

As in previous years, pig feed, with 9,613,555 tonnes produced, accounted for the largest share (40 per cent) of compound feed production. The pig feed sector was thus able to further expand its volume in the 2019/2020 marketing year by 125,309 tonnes (1.3 per cent). At 6,999,180 tonnes, cattle feed accounts for around 29 per cent of total compound feed production. In contrast to pig feed, the production volume in the cattle sector fell minimally by 73,473 tonnes (1.04 per cent) compared with the previous marketing year. The quantities of poultry feed produced also fell. With a total volume of 6,142,998 tonnes, the production volume fell by 225,863 tonnes (3.5 per cent) compared with the same period last year. Poultry feed accounted for almost 26 per cent of total compound feed production.

During the Corona pandemic, the feed industry was and is able to demonstrate that the supply of feed to the agricultural sector is guaranteed by the existing supply chains. Lahde: "The availability of agricultural raw materials is good globally. He rejected a blanket limitation of feeding to regionally available raw materials: "Even though the proportion of the various cereals in compound feed is a good 48 percent and these, together with mill by-products, are mainly sourced from within the country, animal refinement is dependent on the global procurement of raw materials for a varied, high-quality animal nutrition and protein supply. Lahde also stressed that producers of animal feed could be grateful and proud to work in an industry that is vital for survival and, despite all the critical discussions about agriculture, was once - at least for a brief moment - perceived as such.

According to Lahde, the outbreak of African swine fever is twilight of the gods. "Although we are all well prepared, we can hardly influence developments on the markets," Lahde commented on the situation. The only thing left to the manufacturers of animal feeds is to consistently adhere to hygiene measures to prevent the spread of the disease. However, regardless of this acute crisis, there was no doubt that pig production in particular was under severe pressure from political decisions, including the various strategies from arable farming and livestock farming, and that a reduction in stocks was to be expected.
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