3.7% rise in animal feed production

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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 percent of the world’s feed mills and produce 86 percent 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 percent of the world’s feed mills and account for 60 percent of total production.

The regional breakdown of feed compounding throughput in 2016 is as follows:

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 percent. 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 almost half of Brazil’s total production. Overall, Latin America has moderate feed prices, but Brazil’s have increased this year. When compared to the U.S., Brazil’s feed prices are 20% higher for pigs and 40 percent higher for layers and breeders.

“Overall feed prices are down, and therefore food production costs are down,” said Connolly.

“From a global perspective, we estimate the current value of the feed industry at US$460 billion.”