2018 animal feed production highest on record
In the final quarter of 2018 GB animal feed production was recorded at nearly 3.1 million tonnes, up 1% (40,000 tonnes) year-on-year, according to the latest data released by AHDB. As such, GB feed production for 2018 totalled 12.08 million tonnes, a 4% increase year-on-year, making it the highest annual production on record.
In contrast, total pig feed production actually recorded a 3% decline year-on-year in the final quarter. This meant that in 2018 as a whole, GB pig feed production totalled 1.81 million tonnes, a 1% (17,000 tonnes) decline compared to year earlier levels.
Within this, production of breeding feed did grow on the year, with the rate of increase rising to 6% in the final quarter. More grower feed was also produced. However, this was not enough to compensate for the drop off in production of finisher feed in particular, which fell by 13% compared to the same time last year in the final quarter of 2018, and 4% (38,200 tonnes) for the year overall.
Looking at raw material usage, maize usage in animal feed overall has continued to be significantly higher. In Q4 of 2018, 166,000 thousand tonnes of whole and flaked maize went into animal feed, over double what was used the year previously. A key reason for this rise is the price competitiveness of imported maize over domestic wheat and barley in recent months (read more here).
Meanwhile, usage of wheat in animal feeds has also increased. In Q4 2018, almost 940,000 thousand tonnes of wheat was included in animal feeds, a 3% increase year on year. Conversely, usage of barley has fallen significantly, with Q4 2018 barley usage down by 20% year-on-year. A global tightness in supplies supported domestic barley prices, and as such the discount to wheat in the UK was minimal at the time, which may have contributed to the reduced inclusion rate.
Felicity Rusk, Analyst