Global feed production has recovered faster than expected from COVID-19 and ASF
The global animal feed industry is recovering from African swine fever (ASF) and COVID-19 faster than anticipated, driving gains in production compared with last year, according to Alltech’s 2022 Agri-Food Outlook.
However, inflationary pressures and geopolitical tensions have strained markets in some regions.
Overall feed production grew 2.3% over the past year, with 1.24 billion metric tons of feed produced in 2021 compared with 1.21 billion tons in 2020. Pet food, driven by the increase in pet ownership seen during the pandemic, experienced the greatest growth at 8.2%. The pig sector saw feed production increase 6% as production in China moves away from utilizing food waste to professional feed mills in the wake of COVID-19, and aquafeed posted an increase of 3.7% on account of increasing global demand for seafood.
Beef and layers were the only two sectors to see feed production decline in 2021. Both suffered from increased prices for raw materials and flagging demand. Growing concern about climate change and increased greenhouse gas regulations contributed to a 1.9% global decline in beef feed production, while layer feed declined 1.4% as egg prices remained flat or fell. The most significant declines in layer production occurred in Norway, Russia, Ukraine and Poland, where trade has been affected by growing geopolitical tensions, according to Alltech.
“The results within our 2022 Alltech Agri-Food Outlook reinforce our confidence and optimism about the future of the agrifood sector,” Mark Lyons, president and CEO of Alltech, said in a statement. “We see the resilience of the agrifood sector against the challenges of COVID-19, disease and supply chain disruption and, even more importantly, there is evidence of growth, modernization and the adoption of more sustainable practices occurring in parallel.”
China, the U.S. and Brazil remain the top three feed producing countries, with the top 10 feed producing countries representing 65% of global feed production, according to Alltech. India posted the greatest year-over-year growth at 12.2%, with aquafeed production growing particularly quickly and posting a 9% increase. India remains the fourth largest feed producer, according to Alltech.
Meanwhile, Argentina dropped out of the top 10, to be replaced by Turkey. Argentina’s beef sector was particularly hard hit, according to Alltech; recovery in China and elsewhere meant decreased exports from Argentina, while inflation and the devaluation of the local currency decreased purchasing power at home. Turkey also experienced a reduction in feed production, according to Alltech, but the decline was not as severe as in Argentina.
Alltech’s 11th annual feed outlook report draws on survey data from 28,000 feed mills in more than 140 countries.