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EU Farm Commissioner Phil Hogan has expressed the view that Europe must strive for a free trade deal with the UK, as part of the final Brexit deal.

“This is only my opinion. Obviously, it is in Ireland’ best interests to have such arrangements put in place. “But

to make this objective a reality will require the Irish

Government securing an agreement with the other 26 EU Member States.”

Hogan spoke at a recent Brexit briefing, held in Co Mayo. He made it quite clear that Brussels will negotiate on behalf of the EU-27, once the Brexit procedures gets underway: bilaterals involving the UK and Ireland will not be part of the process.

“And this should not be that difficult a process. Germany, for example, currently enjoys a €50 billion trade surplus with the UK. And, no doubt, there are other EU Member States, which would be very much in favour of a free trade deal with the UK.”

Hogan pointed out that the Brexit deal arrived at must ensure that cheap food imports are not allowed into the UK. These products could, subsequently, flood the Irish market.

“There must be full parity of quality standards and the trade deal arrived at recently between the EU and Canada could be used as a blueprint in this regard.”

The Commissioner confirmed that a two-year negotiation process will follow, once the UK triggers Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty. He added that not reaching agreement within this time period could represent the worst of all worlds for Ireland’s farming and food sectors.

“Having no agreement in place would pave the way for the

introduction of swingeing WTO tariffs on foodstuff exported from the European Union to the UK.

“For example, levies of up to 68% could be imposed on some Irish food exports to Britain, if the Brexit deal is not sorted out within a two-year time frame.”


Despite the downturn in the agri economy of many countries, it has been estimated that international animal feed output exceeded 1 billion tonnes for the first time in 2016. According to an Alltech survey, this represents a 3.7% increase over the previous year. The international

feed compounding review covered 141 countries and more than 30,000 feed mills. The results show that the

U.S. and China are the top two countries, producing one-third of all animal feed, and that predominant growth came from the beef, pig and aquaculture feed sectors, as well as several African, Asian and Middle Eastern countries.

“The year that has just ended clearly demonstrated the growing efficiency and consolidation of the feed industry,” said Alltech vice president Aidan Connolly.

“Not only has total feed production exceeded 1 billion tonnes for the first time, but it has done so with fewer facilities, which means greater efficiencies and a decreased environmental footprint.” The 2016 survey showed that

the top 30 countries, ranked

by production output, are home to 82 per cent of the world’s feed mills and produce 86 per cent of

the world’s total feed. The top

10 feed-producing countries in 2016, in order of production output importance, were: China, the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, India, Russia, Germany, Japan and France. These countries contain 56 per cent of the world’s feed mills and account for 60 per cent of total production.

For the first time in several years, the European Union saw feed tonnage growth. The region was led by Spain with 31.9 million tonnes produced in 2016, up 8 per cent. Decreases came from Germany, France, Turkey and the Netherlands.

In Asia, China remained the top feed-producing country with 187.20 million tonnes, while increased production for the Asian region also came from Vietnam, Pakistan, India and Japan. Vietnam, in particular, grew 21% over the past year and moved into the top 15 countries list for the first time, specifically led by increased production of pig and broiler feed. Asia continues to be one of the most expensive locations in the world to raise animals, as Japan’s feed prices are some of the highest in the world and China’s prices are double that of most of the top 10 producing countries.

North American feed production remained relatively flat in 2016. However, the region continues to lead other regions in feed production for beef, turkey, pet and equine.

Africa had the fastest regional growth for the fifth year in a row, with more than half of the countries achieving growth. Nigeria, Algeria, Tunisia, Kenya and Zambia each showed significant growth that was greater than 30%. The region still lags in terms of feed per capita but shows continued opportunity for growth. Africa also has some of the highest finishing prices of any region, as Nigeria and Cameroon both rank in the top five countries.

In Latin America, Brazil remained the leader in feed production, while Mexico saw the highest growth in tonnage, now accounting for more than 20% of Latin America’s total feed production but still only


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