Higher production supports demand for finisher feed
Q4 2019 feed statistics, year-on-year changes:
- Production of grower feed decreased by 12%
- Production of finishing feed increased by 10%
- Production of breeding feed increased by 5%
GB pig feed production during the fourth quarter of 2019 increased by 4% on the year, totalling 505,900 tonnes, according to our latest data. The majority of the uplift came from a rise in finishing feed production (+23,700 tonnes). Though there were also rises recorded in breeding feeds (+5,800 tonnes) and early grower feeds (+5,000 tonnes).
This brings total pig feed production in 2019 to 1.91 million tonnes, 3% higher than 2018 and the highest production in nearly two decades.
The uplift in feed production, particularly finisher feeds, has mirrored the growth in pig meat production. During the final quarter of 2019, UK pig meat production was up by 7% on the year. Finished carcase weights were on average 1.5kg (2%) heavier than the previous year. The combination of more pigs, finished at heavier weights will have supported demand for finisher feed. Lower feed prices compared to the previous winter may have also encouraged producers to be less cautious about feed usage.
We also believe that the breeding herd has expanded modestly over the past year, which will have supported demand for breeding feed.
During Q4 2019, barley inclusion in total GB animal feed production* reached 310,300 tonnes, 26% more (64,300 tonnes) more than in the previous year. Ex-farm feed barley prices have been tracking below the price of imported maize since the start of February. As such, feed producers have increased the usage of barley in rations, at the expense of maize.
Meanwhile, usage of wheat during Q4 was up slightly on the year, at 958,700 tonnes.