GB pig feed production during the fourth quarter of this year increased by 4% on the year, totalling 505,900 tonnes, according to the latest data from AHDB.
The majority of the production uplift came from a rise in finishing feed production (+23,700 tonnes), with marked rises in breeding (+5,800 tonnes) and early grower (+5,000 tonnes) feeds.
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 has mirrored the growth in pig meat production as during the final quarter of 2019, UK pig meat production was up by 7% on the year. Average finished carcase weights were 1.5kg (2%) heavier than the previous year.
AHDB analyst Felicity Rusk said: “
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.”
In total GB feed production* during Q4, barley inclusion 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. This has encouraged the usage of barley in rations, at the expense of maize.
The usage of wheat during Q4 was up slightly on the year, at 958,700 tonnes.
*Figure includes integrated poultry units