Reports from IPPE 2016

Feed production is a barometer of economic health, says Alltech on releasing new data set

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Feed production Tonne Alltech

India’s feed output could be six times larger in the future, said animal nutrition and health company, Alltech, when recently publishing its 2016 global feed tonnage survey.

We caught up with Aidan Connolly, VP and chief innovation office, Alltech, at IPPE in Atlanta last week, to hear about some of the report’s critical findings.

“Russia is expanding rapidly. But I think India has a lot of roadway, a lot of ability to be even bigger than it is,”​ he said.

China, with 179.930 million metric tons of feed tonnage in 2015, still leads the table of top feed producers globally. But its output was down 2% on that of 2014, found Alltech’s survey. 

China puts the drop in tonnage down to lower consumption of fish, milk, meat and eggs in the Asian behemoth. 

'Canary in the coalmine'

Connolly finds the rise in India and Russia as major feed producers is an indicator of the robust economic health of those two markets. In this way, he sees feed output as a real barometer of economic health in a country.

In fact, he said, feed production is becoming the “canary in the coalmine”​ in this respect – and it can be a better predictor of how a country is performing overall than many other indices.

Alltech’s survey, which was conducted in December 2015, showed that international feed tonnage is now at 995.5 million tons, just short of the magic one billion tons number, but a 1.5% hike over output in 2014 and a 14% increase on the numbers in 2011, when the survey first began.

Value of feed industry 

The report values the global feed industry at $450bn a year, down from last year’s $460bn. “And with the changes in corn and soy prices - they are going down - the value of the industry is likely to continue to decrease even with feed production increasing,” ​said Connolly.  

The survey covers compound feed production in 130 countries. Alltech relies on its global sales teams in those markets and trade associations to help generate the data set.

The report puts the top 10 feed producers in the world as China, US, Brazil, India, Mexico, Spain, Russia, Germany, Japan and France. The company has produced an interactive map showing the feed tonnage per country.

The North American market was flat though and the number of feed mills in the US and Brazil also declined.

Europe saw the most growth in 2015 - it was up 13 million tons on 2014 - largely as a result of contributions from Russia, Belarus, Turkey and Poland, found Alltech’s survey.

The Middle East showed a 17% hike in feed production. Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America were up 5, 4 and 3% respectively.

Feed data per species

Poultry feed, according to the report, has the most market share and continues to grow the fastest of all species in terms of feed use – with 46% of feed production going to turkeys, layers, broilers, and other fowl.

Pig feed was down 2% globally, while aqua feed also dropped 5% but Connolly said, outside of China, this figure would seem to relate more to better data collection than any specific decline, given that aqua feed has been a grower – up 19% - over the past five years.

Ruminant feed production showed an upward trend - with 201.36m tons last year it jumped 3% on the 2014 figure.

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