The Alltech Feed Tonnage Survey, Part 1

Asia stays #1 in global feed tonnage, ‘but could so easily be double’, says Alltech VP


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Asia accounted for 36% of the world’s feed tonnage
Asia accounted for 36% of the world’s feed tonnage
Asia remains the top feed producer by tonnage, but could easily double its totals if it moved all of its animals onto compound feed, according to the director of the Alltech Feed Tonnage Survey.

Speaking with FeedNavigator at the recent IPPE show in Atlanta, Aidan Connolly, vice president of Alltech and director of Alltech’s annual Global Feed Tonnage Survey, said that while Asia accounted for 36% of the world’s feed tonnage – 348,000,000 tons – the figure, “could easily be double with still so much other stuff being fed [to livestock]”​.

“In our Survey, we recorded that Asia had the highest tonnage and the highest feed prices, averaging around $524 per ton for pig finisher diets and around $480 to $553 for laying hens and broiler finisher diets,”​ he said. “With a significant drop in cereal prices during the final months of 2013, our respondents expect the feed prices will be lower in 2014, resulting in a year of recovery and a return to stronger growth in terms of tons of feed produced.”

While China was once again the number one country producing feed at 189 million metric tons and an estimated 9,500 feed mills, its overall totals were down with a decline of 1%, but Connolly expects a rebound for the next survey, and for China to surpass 200 million metric tons.

“China should be producing 600 million tons, and not under 200 million tons,” ​he said.

China is down compared to previous years, he said, and this was due to various reasons, including a, “huge issue with food safety recalls for pork, chicken, eggs, lamb, and also a series of problems with diseases, be it avian flu or PRRS”​. When feed costs go up and China imports there is substitution.

Almost a billion, but not quite

Results from Alltech’s Global Feed Tonnage Survey​ revealed a 1% increase in global feed production, up to 963 million metric tons from 954 million metric tons last year.

The data is based on assessments of the compound feed production of 130 countries in Dec. 2013 through information obtained in partnership with local feed associations and Alltech’s sales team, who visit more than 28,000 feed mills annually.

“We expected it to break through the one billion tons level this year but it didn’t,” ​said Connelly. “It’s up about 1% on the previous year.”

More than 30 countries experienced droughts in 2012, and this in turn drove up the price of raw feed materials and food prices, said Connolly.

The Survey found that the total value of the feed industry exceeds $500 billion, higher than the previous estimate of $350 billion. This has been fueled by high feed prices but also the more accurate information collected by this survey. With an expected fall in feed prices in 2014, this value of the feed industry will likely not be as high in 2014.

Africa’s fast growth

Behind China, the US is number two with 169 million metric tons from 5,236 feed mills and Brazil is number three, generating 67 million metric tons from 1,237 feed mills. “The US has been fairly flat, he added, while Brazil, Mexico, and Spain growing slightly,”​ Connolly told us.

Africa had big growth, he said, with 17% growth. South Africa is the continent’s leader, and it currently sits at number 21 on the global list with 11.16 million tons. Other African countries with production increases included Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Mauritius and Namibia. Africa’s combined tonnage increased 7% to just short of 31 million metric tons in 2013.

“With Africa once again named the fastest growing region,”​ said Dr. Pearse Lyons, president of Alltech, “we need to be asking ourselves, ‘What if sustainable aquaculture could eradicate poverty and hunger in Africa? What if farm yields in Africa were increased by 20 percent?’”

A summary of the 2014 Alltech Global Feed Survey findings, including graphs, may be downloaded at​.


Alltech total feed Country Totals
source: Alltech’s annual Global Feed Tonnage Survey 2014

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