Survey finds decline in feed supplies

Global feed supplies have decreased by 5.5 percent, partly due to the impacts of African swine fever in the Asia Pacific region.

International production of feed for all livestock, pets and aquaculture amounted to 1.126 billion tonnes according to an Alltech annual survey covering 145 countries, 13 species and 30,000 feed mills. The study was carried out in the fall of 2019.

The ninth annual survey signals global trends like the growth of the alternative protein market, geopolitical upheaval and growing attention to the environment and sustainability, said Alltech chief executive officer and president Mark Lyons in a Jan. 27 webinar.

The survey also shows expansion or decline in species around the world. Poultry, aquaculture and pets all show increases in animal numbers and consequently feed production for those sectors.

African swine fever has caused a seismic shift in the Asian hog industry. Thirty to 40 percent of Chinese hog production has been lost due to the disease. Considerable losses are reported in Vietnam as well.

“ASF is the headline. When we look at drop in feed production globally, this is driven by ASF in Asia,” Lyons said.

The decline in pork supplies in Asia shifts consumer choices. Pork is more widely consumed than poultry throughout the world, said Matthew Smith of Alltech in the United Kingdom.

“The events of the past 18 months are very much propelling us toward that cross-over point where the world will consume more poultry,” said Smith.

Restocking is underway in China but small producers may struggle to make changes and get back in business. If they can adopt new technology, they may be able to improve their production efficiencies and withstand the next shock to the industry, said Jack Bobo of Futurity USA.

“If they come back, the industry is going to look very different from what it does today,” he said.

Consumer and government attitudes toward the environment and sustainability may also affect feed production. As a feed company, Alltech’s contribution toward this new attitude is making feed more efficient as one way to reduce the carbon footprint of livestock, said Smith.

“It is about nutrition and making sure that diet is pieced together in the best possible way to achieve those efficiencies,” he said.

“Efficient producers have the lowest footprint.”

The survey reported nearly 60 percent of the world’s animal feed was made in the United States, China, Brazil, Russia, India, Mexico, Spain, Japan and Germany.

The U.S. produced 214 million tonnes of feed with beef, broilers and pigs requiring the most.

Canada produced 21.6 million tonnes with the greatest amount going to pigs, broilers and dairy.

Latin America saw some growth in its feed industry, producing nearly 168 million tonnes with Brazil being the largest manufacturer. Pigs and chickens were the primary outlets for the increased feed production.

There was almost no growth in Europe. The three largest-producing countries are Russia, Spain and Germany, where pig feed production dominated. A decline in the dairy and beef herds contributed to the flat production, as those species are down four percent and three percent, respectively.

However, there was strong growth in the aquaculture sector with seven percent more feed produced and laying hens needing an extra three percent.

Production in the Middle East has fallen 6.6 percent due partly to war and political turmoil.

Africa has shown strong growth of 7.5 percent. Broiler, layer and dairy account for nearly half the feed production on the continent. The largest producers are South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco and Algeria.

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