Alltech releases 2013 global feed survey numbers

Aidan Connolly, vice president of Alltech, released theresults of Alltech’s third annual global animal feed survey in a webinarJanuary 27. The survey found 963 million metric tons of feed was produced globallyin 2013, up 1 percent from 954 million the previous year.

Aidan Connolly, vice president of Alltech, released the results of Alltech's third annual global animal feed survey in a webinar January 27. The survey found 963 million metric tons of feed was produced globally in 2013, up 1 percent from 954 million the previous year.

Connolly noted that, although the industry failed to break the 1 billion ton mark, he feels confident "that should happen in 2014."

"It is surprising to see the feed industry grow by only 1 percent," Connolly said. He said high feed costs had a knock-on effect on meat consumption.

Connolly said the global feed industry has an estimated value between $490 billion and $500 billion, much higher than the previous estimate by the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF) of $350 billion.

The latest survey was conducted in December 2013 and included information collected from 130 countries. Connolly noted that the definition of feed terms varies by country, and that the survey does not include forages. The survey was conducted by 600 Alltech employees who visited 28,196 feed mills globally.

Regional analysis

The report provided the top 10 countries by total tonnage of feed produced. In order, they are China, with 189 million metric tons; U.S., with 169 million metric tons; Brazil, with 67 million metric tons; Mexico and Spain, each with 29 million metric tons; India, with 26 million metric tons; Russia, with 25 million metric tons; Japan, with 24 million metric tons; Germany, with 23 million metric tons; and France, with 21 million metric tons.

Connolly noted that, in India, "the industry is becoming more professionalized," but noted the country suffered from the effects of avian influenza last year.

The report found 28,196 feed mills operating globally. In Africa, 806 feed mills produced 31 million metric tons; in Asia, 13,266 mills produced 348 million metric tons; in Europe, 4,886 mills produced 227 million metric tons; in Latin America, 3,126 mills produced 142 million metric tons; in the Middle East, 376 mills produced 26 million metric tons; and in North America, 5,736 mills produced 189 million metric tons. The average feed mill production was 35,000 metric tons. The largest feed mills are located in the Middle East.

"Africa really is a success story in my view," Connolly said of the fastest-growing region, which saw an increase in production of 7 percent last year. He said as the population's incomes rise, there is increased consumption of milk, meat and eggs in the region, which contributed to this growth.

Breakdown by species

Ruminant feed production saw the largest decrease, down 20 percent to 196 million metric tons. Connolly said this was due to a decline in beef and dairy populations, and farmers' ability to switch to forages when feed prices are high. He said the trend -- particularly in the U.S. and Asia -- of farmers using their own feed on their farms, and the use of liquid feeding systems has affected ruminant feed production.

"With high feed prices, people find ways to innovate," Connolly said.

The largest growth area by species was aquaculture, which grew 17 percent over the previous year to 40 million metric tons.

"This is by far the strongest growing in terms of species," Connolly said.

Poultry feed production was 444 million metric tons, with broilers making up the largest portion at 272 million metric tons. Connolly noted that poultry feed represents almost half of the feed produced; 46 percent of all feed produced is for poultry, and 61 percent of that is for broilers.

"This would suggest there are more broilers in the world than previously estimated," Connolly said.

Layers made up 144 million metric tons; turkey, 15 million metric tons; and other, 14 million metric tons.

Pet food production was up slightly to 21 million metric tons; equine feed production was up 14 percent to 12 million metric tons; and pig feed production was up 11 percent to 243 million metric tons. Connolly said pig feed production saw strong growth in China.

A summary of the 2014 Global Feed Survey is available at

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