AFIA: US must invest in domestic vitamin production to reduce reliance on China

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Photo credit: GettyImages/narvikk
Photo credit: GettyImages/narvikk

Related tags China Vitamin

AFIA feed and pet food manufacturing members are gravely concerned about US dependency on China for vitamins and other critical inputs for livestock feed and pet food.

So says Constance Cullman, CEO of the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA).

She welcomes the introduction of a new bill, the Securing American Agriculture Act, a measure "that will help US decision-makers better understand how intrinsically linked our food and feed supply is with China’s input manufacturers as they manage the country’s delicate relationship with China.”

China has captured significant market share for agricultural inputs that are vital to US domestic food supply, ceding leverage and control to that country, argues US congresswoman Ashley Hinson, who introduced the bill. “Iowa farmers have told me firsthand that if China decides to shut off US access to these inputs, food production could slow to a halt.”

A provision in that bill includes the requirement that the federal government consistently monitor the health of domestic agricultural supply chains and their susceptibility to Chinese influence through yearly evaluations.

Not enough global production capacity outside of China

The AFIA lead highlights the vulnerability of the US feed supply chain​ given China’s domination of the vitamin market, with little in the way of alternative suppliers.

“In many instances, even if alternative suppliers exist, they simply cannot match China's vast production capabilities or scale. This reliance becomes palpable when considering that a staggering 94% of vitamin B6 and over 91% of vitamin C is imported from China. Over 78% of all US vitamin imports come from China.

"Equally concerning is the lack of alternative suppliers. In 2022, China produced 73% and 62% of the world’s total feed grade vitamin A and E respectively, and a staggering 94% of the total feed grade vitamin B2. There simply is not enough global production capacity outside of China to meet the demand of the US should there be a disruption in the supply of vitamins from China.

"This heavy dependence not only raises questions about supply chain vulnerabilities but also emphasizes the critical role that China plays in the nutritional landscape of American animal feed and food security.”

China has also cornered the market for amino acids, with manufacturers there controlling the global capacity for up to 85% of some essential amino acids used in feed. 

Need to diversify suppliers 

To ensure the resilience of both the US feed and farm sectors, the AFIA say it is imperative that the country adopts a multi-faceted approach, balancing economic interests with broader strategic considerations, to diversify and secure its vitamin supply chain.

In December, Cullman told us: “AFIA’s leadership is developing a strategy to reduce risks and diversify the country’s vitamin supply chain, providing the Biden administration with insights to prevent future dependencies on other critical animal food inputs, such as amino acids and trace minerals. Given rising geopolitical tensions and the ongoing wars in Europe and the Middle East, these measures will be critical to head off future supply disruptions.”


The feed industry representatives believe that the US could invest in domestic vitamin production facilities and research to reduce dependency on China,  simultaneously bolstering the US economy and creating jobs.

“Encouraging public-private partnerships can be pivotal in scaling up domestic production capabilities. Exploring opportunities with other vitamin-producing nations to increase their domestic production capabilities can lead to diversified supply sources and reduce reliance on a single supplier."

The AFIA also proposed the establishment of an interagency task force to assess the vitamin supply chain and formulate long-term strategies.

Related news

Show more

Related products

A pioneer and leader in microbial fermentation

A pioneer and leader in microbial fermentation

Content provided by Lallemand Animal Nutrition | 05-Dec-2023 | Business Advice

For over 100 years we've been producing yeast and bacteria for a variety of markets, Lallemand has perfected the art of fermentation. As primary microorganism...

Animal AgTech San Francisco, March 18-19, 2024

Animal AgTech San Francisco, March 18-19, 2024

Content provided by Animal AgTech Innovation Summit | 15-Aug-2023 | White Paper

Animal AgTech is the go-to meeting place for the meat and dairy supply chain to accelerate action for animal health and environmental stewardship.