European Production Stays on Track

Dirk Dobbelaere, secretary general of the European Fat Processors and Renderers Association (EFPRA), presented the annual statistics of Europe’s animal by-products industry at the group’s congress held in Hamburg, Germany, in early June. He noted that input from EFPRA members for 2016 was considerably better than in previous years, especially from the poultry sector. Production numbers represent 85 percent of category 3 raw material, which is from animals fit for human consumption.

Dairy cattle production in the European Union (EU) 28 member states was up considerably in 2016 from the year before as were pig prices, by about 35 percent, due to increased pork exports to China. The EU was the second largest producer of pork in the world in 2014 at 22.6 million metric tons (MMT) – 19 percent of world production (China is number one at 55.3 MMT, or 48 percent). The United States is third at 10.3 MMT, or 9 percent. Dobbelaere pointed out that 10 years ago, the United States supplied China with over 80 percent of its pork imports; today it supplies around 10 percent while European countries such as Spain, Germany, and Denmark along with Brazil now supply over 80 percent of China’s pork imports.

“It is mostly because of surging European pork exports into Asia, and especially China, that America’s share of the world pork market has fallen,” Dobbelaere commented. He added that the United States pulling out of the Tran-Pacific Partnership is good news for EU pork producers.

EU poultry production continued to climb with 14.3 MMT produced last year, up from 13.7 MMT in 2015, 13.2 MMT in 2014, and 12.7 MMT in 2013 with predictions for stabilization in 2017 and 2018. Poland is now the top poultry producer in Europe after being in the fifth position five years ago.

EFPRA represents 29 members in 25 European countries that reported processing over 17 MMT of raw material in 2016, up slightly from 2015, into 2.8 MMT of animal fats and nearly 4.0 MMT of animal proteins. These figures are similar to those reported the last four years.

Total category 3 raw material processed in 2016, which is from animals fit for human consumption, was around 12.0 MMT, about the same as in previous years, while all other material (category 1 and 2) accounted for approximately 5.5 MMT last year, up from 5.0 MMT in 2015 and 5.2 MMT in 2014, but down from 6.0 MMT in 2013.

Total category 1 raw material processed in 2016, which is at the highest risk for transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, was 4.6 MMT, up from 4.3 MMT processed in 2015. Total category 2 material collected, also at high risk but not containing some specified risk materials, was 830,000 MT, down slightly from 850,000 MT in 2015. Nine EU member states have at least one dedicated category 2 processing line translating into 18 total dedicated lines.

Most all category 1 meat and bone meal (1.0 MMT) and 108,000 MT of fat were used for combustion, with about 400,000 MT going to biodiesel last year, the same as in 2015. Most category 2 meat and bone meal (180,000 MT, up from 143,000 MT in 2015) was used as fertilizer with a small amount (10,000 MT) going to feed for fur animals. Category 2 fat was mainly used in biodiesel, about 110,000 MT, with very little going to combustion.

Use of category 1 and 2 fats in biodiesel production was up slightly compared to 2015 at just over 500,000 MT as their eligibility for double counting toward the EU Renewable Energy Directive targets remain in place until 2020. Yet, even though category 3 fat does not qualify for double counting, its use in biodiesel increased about 3 percent to just over 400,000 MT in 2016, double the 200,000 MT four years earlier.

Production of food-grade and category 3 fats last year was about 2.1 MMT, down slightly from 2.2 MMT in 2015. Multi-species animal fat production, which accounts for more than half of all fats, was down about 8 percent, tallow saw a drop of 36 percent with no real explanation, and poultry fat was up 18 percent reflecting the increase in poultry production. The primary destinations for multi-species animal fat are oleochemicals, animal feed, and biodiesel. Poultry fat is primarily used in animal feed and pet food while pig fat is used mostly in feed with some going into biodiesel.

Of the 2.7 MMT of food-grade and category 3 processed animal proteins (PAPs) produced in 2016 (up from 2.5 MMT in 2015), nearly half was from multi-species albeit down 4 percent from the previous year. Pig meal and feather meal production saw large increases of 64 percent and 39 percent respectfully. Nearly three-quarters of PAPs (1.9 MMT) went to pet food, up six percent from the 1.8 MMT in 2015, with a slight increase of 4 percent going into fertilizer. The use of multi-species PAPs in pet food continued a downward trend in 2016, declining four percent over 2015. This market instead used 43 percent more pig meal last year than it did in 2015 (which was up 5 percent from 2014) and 11 percent more feather meal after jumping 19 percent in 2015 over 2014. Poultry meal use in pet food dropped 6 percent in 2016 after an increase of 26 percent in 2015 over 2014. Category 3 PAPs going for fertilizer ticked up to 690,000 from 630,000 MT in 2015, albeit still down from the 825,000 MT in 2014.

Although pet food remains the EU rendering industry’s most important customer, PAP use in aquaculture nearly doubled in 2016 over 2015. The European Commission began allowing swine and poultry PAPs in fish feed in June 2013. In 2016, 170,000 MT of PAPs were used in fish feed, up from 95,000 MT in 2015, with poultry meal being the preferred PAP followed closely by feather meal, which more than doubled last year after a drop in 2015. Blood meal, pig meal, and blood products also saw increases in fish feed usage.

Dobbelaere’s conclusion for 2016 is that EU animal by-product production remained stable, although less category 3 and food-grade material was produced while more category 1 and 2 was produced, which is reverse from 2015, resulting in 9 percent more PAPs and 5 percent less category 3 and edible fats.

There continues to be a steady increase of animal fat usage from all categories in biodiesel. For food and feed-grade proteins, fish feed use was up 74 percent, pet food was up 8 percent, and fertilizer usage was up 4 percent. As for food and feed-grade fats, production was down 5 percent resulting in a drop of use in oleochemicals (19 percent) and food (31 percent) while feed and biodiesel use remained stable.

August 2017 RENDER | back