Mexico has an efficient feed industry, with the necessary technology and with room to grow in more than 400 feed plants within the country. It produces 9 percent of feed production in the Americas, a continent that boasts the second and third largest producers in the world. This percentage accounts for 30 million metric tons of feed produced in the country during 2014. Therefore, Mexico stands as the fourth largest producer in the world.
China leads as the largest feed producer, with 182.7 million metric tons. Brazil and the US, which both produce 70 percent of feeds in the Americas, produced 172.5 and 66.2 million metric tons, respectively.
During the 2015 Feed Industry Analysis Forum held last week by CONAFAB (the National Council of Feed Manufacturers and Animal Nutrition of Mexico) in Cancun, Mexico, their president, Antonio Pedroza, said that, “since 2011 there has been a constant growth and in 2014 production growth was 3.3 percent, an increase not seen for 10 years." He even predicted that there is an expected a growth rate of 3.5 percent this year.
It is worth noting that the growth in this sector in Mexico "is organic, because we are not an exporting power." According to Mr. Pedroza, there are three vectors that can explain this growth: a) population growth; although it grows at a much slower pace; b) an increase in earned income of the population, thus impacting and changing eating habits, and c) the effect of remittances from Mexican workers in the US to family back home. It is estimated that 50 percent of this income is used for food and mainly to increase consumption of animal protein.
There is another aspect that cannot be measured, but it seems that it’s also on the rise, and that is backyard production. Producers of commercial feed (local and regional) have seen an above average increase in production and sales in this sector.
Another important aspect is the boom in the exportation of beef currently occurring in northern Mexico, as well as the exports of cattle from southern Central America.
It is worth noting that in the meantime, Brazil is not growing internally, although important efforts have been made to increase the fish farming sector. The growth they are experiencing is due to exports. Europe is going the opposite way; the major setback there being a stall in population growth.
By species, 50 percent of Mexican feed is intended for poultry. As previously mentioned, commercial feed producers have experienced growth. However, integrated production has fallen by 4 percent since 2000. Exports and imports are marginal making Mexico basically self-sufficient in feeds. Imports generally include pet food and specialties like canned pet food.
Unlike previous years, the feed sector has become a consumer of Mexican produced raw materials by 63 percent. Though there is still a deficit of feed grains, there is an important support for the conversion to domestically produced grains. Sorghum still ranks first with 8.5 million metric tons (almost all domestic) and corn with 9.9 million metric tons.
"The industry will continue to grow in Mexico, even against the devaluation of the peso. The conditions are here: capacity, market, experience, and technology," said the president of CONAFAB. In addition, there are efforts and objectives focused on exporting meeting the requirements of potential customers.