EU farm, feed and grain trade bodies have welcomed the European Commission’s publication of its first comprehensive EU protein balance sheet.

 The EU protein balance sheet 2015/2016 shows EU production, consumption and internal and external trade of all protein feed materials used in animal feed manufacture production.  It covers crop commodities such as the cereals, oilseeds and pulses; co-products from soya, sunflower and oilseed rape crushing, cereal processing and the brewing and distilling sectors and molasses from sugar refining to other ingredients such as fishmeals and milk constituents. The balance sheet underlines the EU’s dependence on imported protein sources either as co-product or commodities for crushing in Europe.

COCERAL, Copa-Cogeca, FEDIOL and FEFAC say this dedicated, independent tool for monitoring the supply and demand balance and availability of protein crops in the EU will contribute to market transparency. In turn, this will inform policy discussions and changes affecting agriculture and biofuels as well as trade and anti-dumping policies which could affect the availability of protein sources for EU livestock farmers. “Assured and predictable access to a strategic supply of proteins to meet demand and to feed farm animals is crucial for the competitiveness and resilience of the EU feed and livestock sector,” they conclude.

 The Commission intends to publish a second EU protein balance sheet later this summer once data for the whole 2016/17 marketing year is available.