Local feed compounding tonnages may well have hit record levels in 2017, according to Northern Ireland Grain Trade Association (NIGTA) chief executive Robin Irvine.
“Based on the confirmed figures available for the first three-quarters of the year, the final throughout level will probably come in at 2.4m tonnes. And this would be a record level of manufacturing output for the feed industry,” he said.
“The growth has been driven by the ongoing expansion of the poultry sector and the fact that dairy has bounced back in 2017.”
Mr Irvine added: “The current weakness of Sterling has facilitated the export of livestock products from Northern Ireland. Local food businesses are doing well in driving-up market share in the rest of the UK.
“We are also seeing a very welcome upturn in the fortunes of the pig sector. It’s safe to conclude that the feed industry will end the current winter season on a very positive note.”
Meanwhile, the 2018 Alltech Global Feed Survey is indicating that beef feed production has declined by 1% over the past 12 months.
This downturn was most evident in regions such as Latin America, Africa and Europe. According to Alltech, the downward trend has generally been felt by the industry for some time as more consumers turn to “white” meats, such as chicken, pork and fish.
In overall terms, the survey estimates that international feed tonnages exceeded 1 billion tonnes for the second consecutive year. The actual figure comes in at 1.07 billion tonnes of feed produced in 2017. This represents a 2.57 percent increase over the previous year.
The international feed industry, now valued at US$430 billion, has seen 13 percent growth over the past five years, equating to an average of 2.49 percent per annum. This substantial expansion in output is supported by the higher reported consumption of meat, milk and eggs.
The seventh edition of the annual survey is the most comprehensive ever, now covering 144 countries and more than 30,000 feed mills. In addition, the results confirm that China and the U.S. remain the top two countries, producing one-third of all animal feed, and that predominant growth came from the pig, broiler and dairy feed sectors as well as the European and Asia-Pacific regions.
“Now in its seventh year of analysis, the Alltech Global Feed Survey continues to serve as a valuable report on the state of the global feed industry,” said Aidan Connolly, chief innovation officer and vice president of corporate accounts at Alltech.
“In addition to its insights into the feed industry, it serves as a barometer for Agriculture, as a whole, and oftentimes demonstrates the economic strength of the countries included in the survey.”
According to the survey, the top seven feed-producing countries in 2017, in order of production output importance, were China, the U.S., Brazil, Russia, Mexico, India and Spain. These countries contain approximately 54 percent of the world’s feed mills and account for 53 percent of total production.
Europe saw a three percent feed tonnage growth, resulting from increases in pig, boiler and aqua feed production. The region was led by Russia with 37.6 million tons produced in 2017, moving up in the country rankings from number seven to number four.
Russia increased its estimated pig feed, including more private production. Russian broiler feed production also increased by 3 percent, while Ukraine, Romania, the U.K. and Belgium also reported higher numbers.
In the poultry industry, broiler feed production increased across all regions, with the largest growth found in Africa with 10 percent and Europe with seven percent. Romania, Russia and Ukraine all reported steady growth, contributing to Europe’s overall production, while Africa’s growth came primarily from Egypt, Uganda and Mozambique.
Global leaders in pork production, China and Russia, led the way in pig feed production in 2017. Many smaller African countries, particularly Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Uganda and Namibia, also showed increases.
Meanwhile, global dairy feed production saw growth across all regions. Europe, a global leader in dairy production, grew on average by approximately two percent. Africa as a region saw the largest dairy feed production increase by 10 percent, with countries such as South Africa, Morocco and Zimbabwe showing significant increases from their reported 2017 dairy feed production.