World produced more animal feed last year

Annual feed survey finds that North American prices are lowest in the world because of easy access to cereals and soybeans

A record amount of animal feed was produced in 2017.

More than one billion tonnes of manufactured feed was produced worldwide, a 13 percent increase since 2012, said Aidan Connolly of the animal nutrition company, Alltech.

The global feed survey was released Jan. 25 and compiled figures from more than 31,000 feed manufacturers in 144 countries, as well as government and business statistics.

The survey covers all livestock feed and corresponds with increased supplies of milk, meat and eggs worldwide, said Connolly.

The value of the feed industry is US$430 billion in 2017, but prices vary by region, ingredient availability and currency changes.

Feed prices in North America are lowest in the world, partly because of easy access to cereal grains and protein products like soybeans.

For example, the world price for pig finisher diets is $363 per tonne, layers are $363 per tonne and broiler feed averages $418 per tonne.

There are discussions around adding insect protein to feed, but Connolly said at an average cost of $50,000 per tonne, it does not compete with soybean protein at $300 to $500 per tonne or fish meal at $2,000 per tonne.

A breakdown of the world regions indicates China is the largest producer of feed followed by the United States.

Overall, the Asia-Pacific region is responsible for a third of the world’s feed tonnage and reported a three percent improvement for 2017.

China remains on top for the region but has fallen back slightly because of dropping dairy and beef production.

Dairy farmers are struggling with high price inputs and poor returns, as well as competing against cheaper imports. Local beef production has been replaced with cheaper or higher quality imports.

China’s lack of growth in feed production reflects a more efficient approach to farming especially for pork and broiler production, said Connolly.

India is reporting strong growth especially in the area of chicken and aqua feed production.

“Africa is on course to produce more of its own animal proteins and consumption,” said Connolly.

However, feed is also more expensive than the world average.

Latin America has seen considerable growth in feed production for horses, aquaculture and pets. Brazil is a world leader in feed production. Regionally, Mexico leads in beef and layer feed production.

Europe reported a three-percent increase in feed production particularly for pigs, broilers and aqua products.

Russia led growth with 37.6 million tonnes with most of the increases in pig and broiler feed.

Government policy wants to displace imports with more local meat production especially pork, eggs and milk, said Connolly.

Europe is also the world’s largest pet food producer at about 10 million tonnes. France represents about 25 percent of that production. The United Kingdom and Hungary are also significant pet food manufacturers.

Overall, broiler, layer and dairy feed production dominate because of the trend toward leaner, whiter meats from pork, chicken and fish displacing beef.

“We expect to see the feed efficiency of broilers continue to improve that in essence, that even when meat production goes up, you need less feed,” Connolly said.

People may be eating more fish but aquaculture production has experienced little growth.

The Asia Pacific accounts for 70 percent of world aquaculture but governments are concerned about sustainability and water quality.

China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan and Japan have all reduced aquaculture production and require less feed.

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