Poultry industry tops global feed production

International animal feed tonnage has exceeded 1 billion metric tons for the first time, according to the 2017 Alltech Global Feed Survey. That’s a 3.7% increase over last year and represents 19 % growth since the inaugural survey in 2012, despite a 7% decrease in the number of feed mills.

The survey 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 a third of all animal feed, and that predominant growth came from the beef, pig and aquaculture feed sectors. The poultry industry represented 44% of the total global feed production, a slight decrease from last year, and there was growth in pig feed production.

“This demonstrates the growing efficiency and consolidation of the feed industry,” said Aidan Connolly of Alltech. “Not only has total feed production exceeded 1 billion tons for the first time, but it has done so with fewer facilities, which means greater efficiencies and a decreased environmental footprint.”

The top 30 countries, ranked by production output, are home to 82% of the world’s feed mills and produce 86% of the world’s total feed. The top ten 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% of the world’s feed mills and account for 60% of total production.


Notable species results

  • The poultry industry represented 44 % of the total global feed production, a slight decrease from last year. This could be a result of avian influenza, industry consolidation and more efficient feed conversion.


  • Growth was observed in pig feed production, particularly in Asia. China represents over a quarter of the world’s pig feed production, but sow numbers have decreased by almost 40% over the past three years.


  • Global dairy feed production remained flat, while the U.S. and India reinforced their position as the top two producers with increases of 12% and 14% respectively, whereas Europe saw a downturn. Turkey decreased by 1.5 million tons and Germany declined by 3.4 million tons.


  • The U.S. maintained the top position in the beef industry, and estimated feed production was 10% higher than last year. China, Spain, Turkey and Mexico all showed increased beef feed production.


  • Aquaculture continued its year-on-year growth with a gain of 12% in feed production in 2016. Increased production from Turkey, Germany, the U.K. and France contributed to a strong performance from the European region. Africa increased production by almost 1 million tons, while Asia maintained its volume. The increase in aquaculture feed correlates to the consumption of farmed fish.


  • The 2016 survey gathered more pet sector data than previous years, allowing for more information to be captured on the size and scale of the market. The U.S. remained number one, while Europe and Asia also showed growth. France’s estimates were increased by 1 million tons, although this reflects more accurate data collection rather than a production increase over 2016. The U.K., Spain, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia and China also experienced growth.


Regional results

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


  • Asia: China remained the top feed-producing country with 187.20 million metric tons, while increased production for the Asian region also came from Vietnam, Pakistan, India and Japan. 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 ten producing countries.


  • North America: North America feed production remains relatively flat. However, the region continues to lead other regions in feed production for beef, turkey, pet and equine.


  • Africa: Africa had the fastest regional growth for the fifth year in a row, with more than half of the countries achieving growth. 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.


  • Latin America: Brazil remained the leader in feed production, while Mexico saw the highest growth in tonnage. Overall, Latin America has moderate feed prices, but Brazil’s have increased this year.


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