Global feed production in 2021 climbed +2.3% in 2021, a fact that may be surprising considering the massive challenges the industry faced amid supply chain disruptions, continued disease outbreaks, and myriad other struggles that have accompanied the Covid-19 pandemic. Interestingly, the biggest gain in production was seen in the pet sector, with an increase of +8.2%, according to Alltech’s 2021 Agri-Food Outlook. That was followed by the pig sector, with feed tonnage climbing more than +6% thanks to a rebound from African Swine Fever (ASF).
Alltech’s report is based on its 11th annual Global Feed Survey, which includes results from more than 28,000 feed mills in over 140 countries. Of those, the top 10 countries produced 65% of the world’s total feed. China maintained its status as the world’s largest feed-producing country with total output of 261.4 million metric tons (mmt), which represents a nearly +9% increase over 2020. They are followed closely by the U.S. with total production of 231.5 mmt, up just over +2% for the year. These two countries alone represent about 40% of the total 1,235.5 mmt of feed produced in 2021. The rest of the top five aren’t even close to the production levels of the U.S. and China, with Brazil in 3rd at 80.1 mmt, followed by India at 44 mmt, and Mexico at 38.8 mmt. You can sign up to receive the full report HERE. Below are some of the highlights broken down by feed sector.
Pigs – Alltech says the pig sector witnessed a significant comeback with feed tonnage increasing +6.6%. This was boosted primarily by Asia-Pacific’s recovery from ASF, with feed production growth in the region climbing +14.2%. But while Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and China have rebounded from ASF, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam continued to feel the impact of the disease. In Europe, countries where ASF is not or is no longer a problem were still impacted by a pork surplus due to a reduced demand from China. Europe’s pig feed production climbed just over +3, while North America’s slid by about -0.2%.
Beef – Alltech reports that beef feed production saw a reduction of -1.9% globally due, in part, to challenges incurred through greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations. European markets are especially focused on reducing GHG emissions in an effort to align with COP26, the EU Green Deal and the FEFAC Feed Sustainability Charter 2030. Europe’s beef feed production fell -13.7% last year. That decline was topped only by Latin America where production fell a whopping -17.8%. Much of that is attributed to Argentina which saw a significant reduction due to reduced exports, as well as high inflation and the devaluation of the local currency that has dented domestic demand. Turkey experienced a -15% reduction in tonnage as the result of an increase in the price of raw materials and due to the high cost of importing livestock. The U.S. on the other hand witnessed a +4.2% increase in beef feed production thanks to increased steer and heifer harvest due to carryover from 2020, as well as a record demand for beef exports.
Dairy – Globally, dairy feed tonnage increased slightly, by 1.9%. Asia-Pacific saw the biggest increase at +8.6%, which is mostly attributed to growth in India. As COVID-19 lockdowns eased around the world, the reopening of the hospitality industry and in-person classroom education helped boost milk consumption overall. North America dairy feed production grew +1.4%, followed by Europe with an increase of +1.2%. Production was down in the rest of the world though, including in Australia and New Zealand, with dairy feed tonnages down -6.7% and -2.5%, respectively.
Layers – The layer sector saw a slight reduction in feed tonnage of -1.4%. Alltech notes that several countries experienced challenges due to the high costs of raw materials, combined with flat or reduced retail prices for eggs. In Europe, production was down the most at -3%, led by significant declines in Norway, Russia, Ukraine, and Poland. Asia-Pacific production fell -2.1% while tonnage in the U.S. was flat. The Oceania region saw the biggest growth of +2.4%, led by Australia where tonnage rose by +4%.
Broilers – Feed production for broilers increased +2.3%, with Alltech saying a range of factors may have helped boost the broiler business, including an increase in home cooking and the fact that poultry is a relatively affordable protein option. In Latin America, Peru, Brazil, Paraguay and Mexico contributed significantly to the region’s +5% increase. China and India accounted for the most significant increases in Asia-Pacific, where overall broiler feed tonnage increased +3.4%. North America production was up just +1.7% while Europe witnessed a decline of -1.7%.
Aquaculture – Alltech says the aquaculture industry continues to thrive across all regions, leading to an impressive global increase of +3.7%. Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) are becoming more prevalent, and consumer demand for fish is on the rise. Markets with ASF challenges saw additional growth due to their reduced pork supply. India saw a significant increase of +9% in its aquaculture feed tonnage; additionally, Indonesia accounted for +10% of Asia-Pacific’s +3.3% growth. In Latin America, Chile, Brazil, Honduras, and Ecuador contributed to the regional growth of +5.6%. North America production was up just over +1%.
Pet – Pet feed production had the highest increase among all of the sectors, with an +8.2% rise in production. This significant increase is largely due to the rise in pet ownership amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While some regions remained flat, there were no reported decreases in any region around the world. Asia-Pacific growth was the highest at +17.1%, followed by North America at +12.7%, and Latin America at +7.7%.