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Alltech Feed Survey reports slight increase in global feed production in 2013

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Results from the 2014 Global Feed Tonnage Survey released today by Alltech revealed a one percent increase in feed production, with global feed tonnage reporting in at 963 million metric tons, up from 954 million metric tons last year. Alltech assessed 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 were surprised that the feed industry did not break the one billion metric ton level in 2013, given the continued global growth in the consumption of animal proteins. The slower growth in feed production was likely influenced by a series of droughts that has plagued more than 30 countries worldwide in 2012, which, in turn has driven up the price of raw feed materials and food prices,” said Aidan Connolly, vice president of Alltech and director of Alltech’s annual Global Feed Tonnage Survey. “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. 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.”

Among the 130 countries assessed in Alltech’s survey, China was once again the number one country producing feed at 189 million metric tons and an estimated 9,500 feed mills. The United States and Brazil ranked second and third respectively, with the U.S. producing 169 million metric tons from 5,236 feed mills and Brazil generating 67 million metric tons from 1,237 feed mills. There was an observed decline in the number of feed mills in China, likely driven by government policy, which favors a smaller number of larger feedmills to facilitate traceability and improvements in quality, and the continued demand by urban consumers for further processed proteins from larger farms.

In terms of percent growth in comparison to the Dec. 2012 figures, Africa was reaffirmed as the fastest growing region. Countries such as South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Mauritius and Namibia all experienced production increases, boosting Africa’s combined tonnage seven percent to just short of 31 million metric tons in 2013. Asia, of the six regions surveyed, is once again the leading overall region in terms of production of animal feed, with 348 million metric tons or more than one-third of global feed, but did not grow in 2013. The Middle East is estimated to have the largest feed mills by average tons per year. Globally, feedmills produced an average of 34,000 metric tons.

When analyzed by species:

  • Poultry held its position as the leading consumer of animal feed, with a 46 percent share of global production at 444 million tons, representing a six percent growth over 2012. Sixty percent of all poultry feed tonnage is dedicated to broilers, with the rest fed to egg layers, turkeys, duck and other fowl.
  • Pig feed increased by 11 percent, moving to 243 million metric tons globally.
  • The ruminant feed market, comprising dairy, beef and small ruminants, decreased in tonnage demand between late 2012 and December 2013. These animal sectors have the most alternative feed materials to switch to, including grazing and forages, when grain prices rise.
  • Equine feed tonnage once again increased 14 percent to 12.4 million metric tons, following on a 17 percent increase in 2012. 
  • Aquaculture was the star performer again, with a 17 percent increase in 2013 to 34.4 million metric tons.  The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) trends suggest that global consumption total of farmed fish and shellfish now exceeds beef on a weight basis.
  • Pet food tonnage remained relatively flat from 2012 to 2013, increasing just slightly from 20.5 to 20.7 million tons.

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.

 “This investment in evaluating the world’s feed industry is a part of our ongoing commitment from seed to feed to food in order to satisfy a growing population worldwide,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, president of Alltech. “With Africa once again named the fastest growing region, 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?’”

In 2011, Alltech began to leverage its global presence to obtain a finer estimate of the world’s feed tonnage, an area where production statistics have traditionally been difficult to quantify. This report outlines the third annual assessment that strives to serve as an industry resource for the coming year.

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