Total production of compounds, blends and concentrates, including integrated poultry units, during the fourth quarter of 2018 amounted to 3,574,400 tonnes, 9,700 tonnes or 0.3 per cent greater than the final quarter of 2017. 2018’s final quarter return was a record for the period and stood 233,800 or 7.0 per cent greater than its 10 year average. This brought the year-end total to 14,064,900 tonnes, the highest amount of feed produced in a calendar year within Great Britain on record, and 315,900 tonnes or 2.3 per cent greater than the previous high set a year earlier. 2018’s final total was also a significant 1,017,100 tonnes or 7.8 per cent higher than the average of the last 10 years.
Total feed production during the fourth quarter of 2018 was made up of: 44.4 per cent poultry feed, 33.1 per cent cattle and calf feed, 13.3 per cent pig feed, 4.4 per cent sheep feed, 3.6 per cent other feed and 1.4 per cent horse feed.
Total feed production during the year of 2018 was made up of: 45.2 per cent poultry feed, 30.9 per cent cattle and calf feed, 12.9 per cent pig feed, 6.5 per cent sheep feed, 3.2 per cent other feed and 1.3 per cent horse feed.
2018 fourth quarter cattle and calf feed fell short of the record 1,197,300 tonnes produced a year earlier, with the 1,181,800 tonnes produced in the quarter under review falling 15,500 tonnes or 1.3 per cent short of this level. Despite the drop, the 2018 total was still 67,000 tonnes or 6.0 per cent greater than the 10 year mean for the quarter.
December’s cattle and calf feed output brought the year-end total to a record 4,346,800 tonnes, an increase of 127,800 tonnes or 3.0 per cent from the previous year. It is no surprise that 2018 cattle and calf feed production also surpassed the end of year average for the decade of 4,043,900 tonnes by a significant margin of 302,900 tonnes or 7.5 per cent.
A decrease in quarter four production from 2017 was also seen in the pig feed sector, dropping 10,000 tonnes or 2.1 per cent to 473,600 tonnes. However, 2018’s total stood up more favourably against the 10 year average for the quarter, bettering it by 30,000 tonnes or 6.8 per cent.
Pig feed was also the only feed category whose yearly total fell below its year earlier counterpart, doing so by 9,200 tonnes or 0.5 per cent. With production levels of 1,814,200 tonnes, 2018’s pig feed total was the lowest of the past five years, nonetheless, thanks to considerably lower levels in the preceding five years, the latest annual total was 130,800 tonnes or 7.8 per cent larger than the 10 year average.
A record 1,586,600 tonnes of poultry feed was produced in Q4 of 2018, an increase in output of 26,900 tonnes or 1.7 per cent from the same period of 2017. Furthermore, the present total was 108,500 tonnes or 7.3 per cent larger than the 10 year mean for the period under review.
Year-end poultry feed production was also at a record high, with the previously unrivalled total amassed a year previously being beaten by 123,300 tonnes or 2.0 per cent to reach 6,360,300 tonnes. There was also a considerable 408,900 tonnes difference between 2018’s total and the 10 year average annual production, an increase of 6.9 per cent.
Sheep feed output dropped dramatically below its year earlier fourth quarter production, declining to 157,200 tonne, a reduction of 16,800 tonnes or 9.7 per cent. However, it is worth noting that 2017 Q4 sheep feed production, at 174,000 tonnes was much higher than average and a notable outlier, along with 2012’s return. This is further demonstrated by the fact that the 2018 fourth quarter total was 10,500 tonnes or 7.2 per cent greater than the 10 year average for the timeframe.
In spite of the setback in Q4, 2018 total sheep feed still reached record levels, surpassing 900,000 tonnes in a year for the first time since records began. The 908,600 tonnes of output exceeded its year earlier counterpart by 84,300 tonnes or 10.2 per cent. 2018’s yearly total also sat a remarkable 132,300 tonnes or 17.0 per cent over the average production of the past 10 years.
Horse feed production in the final quarter of the year also witnessed reductions from the output achieved a year earlier. An 8.6 per cent drop saw production fall by 4,500 tonnes to 48,100 tonnes of production. This was the first time quarter four horse feed had fallen below 50,000 tonnes since 2011 and also meant that it was the only sector this quarter to dip below its 10 year average of 52,200 tonnes, doing so by 4,100 tonnes or 7.9 per cent.
In contrast the year-end total of horse feed bettered both its year previous total and its 10 year average. The 186,700 tonnes amassed in 2018 bettered that of a year previous by 2,400 or 1.3 per cent and the mean of the last 10 years by 1,500 tonnes or 0.8 per cent.
127,000 tonnes of other feed was produced in the fourth quarter of 2018, a record for the period and 14,500 tonnes or 12.9 per cent greater than the output reported a year earlier. The current total was also 20,300 tonnes or 19.0 per cent higher than the 10 year average for the quarter.
Whilst the year-end total of other feed was still above the 10 year average for the term, it could not outdo the output of 2017. The 448,700 tonnes of production fell 2,300 tonnes or 0.5 per cent below the record total set a year previously. 2018’s total was, however, 10.4 per cent higher than the 10 year average of yearly totals, standing 42,300 tonnes above it.