Use of maize in animal feed production increases
In total during quarter three of 2018 GB animal feed production totalled almost 3.5 million tonnes, up 4% year-on-year, according to the latest data from AHDB. This figure includes feed for poultry (including integrated poultry units) as well as feed for pigs, cattle and sheep.
Total pig feed production has recorded a different trend from cattle and sheep feed production, recording a small decline year-on-year during quarter three of this year, to 443,100 tonnes. Much of this decline can be attributed to feed for finishing pigs. This decline could therefore be reflective of the fertility issues reported back at the start of the year. Perhaps unsurprisingly as production increases, often after a period of high prices, feed production responds.
While GB feed production has been ramping up, which may also be part of preparations for this coming winter (especially for ruminant farmers), some ingredients are proving to be more popular than others. Maize has recorded a strong increase on both the year but also the five year average. Maize prices are trending at a discount to feed wheat prices and therefore where possible farmers may have looked to increase inclusion rates of maize in rations. Through much of the past four years feed maize has been at a price premium to feed wheat. When feed wheat first started to trade at a discount to feed maize, usage of wheat in feed rations increased sharply.
Rebecca Oborne, Analyst
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