More wheat and soya used in animal feed
According to the latest figures from Defra, compound pig feed production for the second quarter of 2015 was 1% higher than a year earlier at 449,000 tonnes.
There was a minimal increase in production of breeding and finishing pig feed but 6% more grower feed was produced. These figures suggest that the size of the UK herd remains broadly stable but there may have been further improvements in productivity. The figures also show that the price of compound pig feed remained relatively low, with the average of £234 per tonne only marginally lower than the previous quarter but matching the average of the final 3 months of last year, which was the lowest since 2010. Overall compound animal feed production was also up 1%.
Wheat is still being used more in all compound animal feed production this year compared to last. The use of wheat in compound feed is still on the up, with a 13% increase compared to the second quarter of 2014, contrasting with a decrease in the use of barley, oats and maize. The price of feed wheat is relatively lower than barley this year, which has contributed to the increased use of wheat. Also the higher price of imported French maize is making it a less attractive option as a feed ingredient. Soya cake and meal has seen an increase of use in animal feed of 3% in the second quarter of this year compared to a year earlier. This would be indicative of the more appealing price of soyabeans due to record production in 2014/15 and another expected high production year for 2015/16.