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 13 jun 2019 08:47 

Commission publishes overview of EU feed supply

Roughage, such as grass and silage maize, is the main source of feed protein, representing 45% of EU total feed use. Oilseed meals supply almost a quarter of the feed proteins. While the EU is fully self-sufficient in roughage, the EU produces only 26% of what it consumes for meals from soya bean and rapeseed. Looking at the total EU use, about 80% of the feed is from EU origin. These are among the key findings of the ‘EU Feed Protein Balance Sheet’ for 2017/18, published today by the European Commission.

EU Feed Protein Balance Sheet

EU plant protein supply share of proteain sourcesSource: European Commisison

With roughage included for the first time, the updated EU Feed Protein Balance sheet presents the feed supply, demand and trade of various protein sources. This includes crops (cereals, oilseeds and pulses), co-products (meals from crushing soya, rapeseed and sunflower as well as protein-rich materials that result from processed arable crops), non-plant based sources (animal proteins, former foodstuffs) and roughage (grass, silage maize, fodder leguminous).

Commissioner Hogan welcomed the publication as a significant improvement of market transparency and as an important follow-up on the Commission’s report on the development of plant proteins in the EU:

The new feed protein balance sheet reflects the Commission’s continued commitment to improved market transparency in the protein sector, as in several other sectors. The sector is vital for the success of our agriculture. Improved market transparency facilitates further analysis of the dynamics in this market and allows actors to respond appropriately to those dynamics.

In terms of protein content, the balance sheet also shows that the EU’s self-sufficiency rate is high for products with less than 15% protein content and for products with over 50% protein content, respectively at 97 and 92% of self-sufficiency. In contrast, the EU produces only 29% of what it consumes in products with a protein content of 30 to 50%.

EU self-sufficiency per protein source (in crude proteins)Source: European Commission


In November 2018, the European Commission published a report on the development of plant proteins in the European Union. This balance sheet is a direct follow-up to its recommendations, more specifically to improve market analysis and transparency through better monitoring tools.

The development of the Balance Sheet was a joint effort of the European Commission and the key stakeholders of this sector. Expertise and data were provided by COCERAL, Copa-Cogeca, EDA, EFPRA, EPURE, FEDIOL, FEFAC, Starch Europe and others. 

Roughage is mainly suitable as feed for ruminants and not for pigs and poultry, while soya or rapeseed meals can be used as feed for most types of animals. There is only a limited inter-changeability between the proteins from different vegetable protein sources.

Image showing the mix of roughage in animal feed

More information

EU feed protein balance sheet - 2017-18

EU feed protein balance sheet explanatory note

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