New figures just released indicate world feed production in 2022 dipped slightly by 0.42% to 1.266 billion tonnes, compared to the previous term.
Factors such as disease, weather, and the brutal invasion of Ukraine all hindered production in Europe, which bore the brunt of the impact.
The latest statistics, including data from 142 countries and more than 28,000 feed mills, were released in the 2023 Alltech Agri-Food Outlook, now in its 12th year.
The global Covid-19 pandemic also had major impacts on the agri-food sector, contributing to supply chain challenges and accelerating the adoption of new technology and environmental sustainability practices.
Together, the top 10 countries produced 64% of the world’s feed production, and half of the world’s global feed consumption is concentrated in 4 countries:
Vietnam experienced a great recovery in terms of its feed tonnage in 2022, entering the top 10 ahead of Argentina and Germany and crowding out Turkey, which reported reduced feed tonnage. Russia overtook Spain, where there was a significant reduction in feed production.
Feed production increased in several regions, including Latin America 1.6%; North America 0.88% and Oceania 0.32%; while Europe decreased by 4.67%; Africa by 3.86% and the Asia-Pacific region also dropped 0.51%.
Globally, increases in feed tonnage were reported in the aquaculture, broiler, layer and pet food sectors, while decreases were reported in the beef, dairy and pig sectors.
Although it experienced a narrow reduction in feed production, China remains the largest feed producing country in the world, followed by the United States and Brazil.
The poultry sector experienced increases in both layer and broiler feed production. Avian influenza, other diseases and the high costs of raw materials affected the layer sector in many markets, especially in Asia, Europe and Africa.
On the other hand, growth in the sector was boosted due to bigger challenges in other sectors that led to increased demand for eggs. Overall, layer-sector feed production increased by 0.31%.
While the overall tonnage in the broiler sector increased by 1.27%, there were significant differences from country to country. Overall, feed production growth in the broiler sector was reported mainly from the Middle East, North America and Latin America.
Pig feed production was down globally in 2022 by almost 3%. ASF and high feed prices depressed pig production in many countries. However, in Vietnam, China, South Africa, Brazil and Mexico, better pork prices and other market conditions led to growth in the sector.
Dairy feed tonnage decreased by 1.32%, mainly due to the high cost of feed combined with low milk prices, which caused farmers to reduce their numbers of cows and/or rely more on non-commercial feed sources.
Some exceptions included Ireland, where drought caused farmers to rely more on commercial feeds, and New Zealand, where milk prices were higher.
Beef feed production decreased slightly by 0.34% globally. The downward trend continued in Europe, but increases were seen in almost all other regions.
In Australia, the reduction in feed tonnage was a result of plentiful grass and not a reflection of any changes in the demand for beef.
The aquaculture sector experienced a total global feed production growth of 2.7%. The top five aquaculture feed countries are China, Vietnam, India, Norway and Indonesia.
Significant increases were reported in China, Brazil, Ecuador, the Philippines and the US. Aquaculture feed production was one of a few sectors that saw growth in Europe.
Pet food sector
Pet feed production had the highest increase among the sectors, with a global average 7.25% rise in production. This significant increase is largely due to the rise in pet ownership amid the Covid-19 pandemic. North America and Europe continue to be the top pet feed-producing regions.
North America reported an increase of 0.88%, 2.272 million tonnes, and the US remained the second largest feed-producing country globally, behind China. Growth was reported in the broiler, beef and pet food sectors.
Latin America experienced growth of 1.6%, 3.066 million tonnes, and Brazil remained the leader in feed production for the region and ranked third overall globally. Most of the growth was reported by Mexico, Brazil and Chile.
Europe saw the largest decrease in feed production of 4.67%, -12.882 million tonnes, in its feed production due to issues that include the invasion in Ukraine and the spread of animal diseases, such as ASF and Avian Influenza.
Asia-Pacific remained flat as decreases reported in China, Pakistan, Thailand and Malaysia were offset by increases in Vietnam, the Philippines, Mongolia and South Korea.
The region is home to several of the top 10 feed-producing countries, including China, India and Vietnam.
Africa experienced a decrease of 3.86% in feed tonnage, down 1.718 million tonnes, mainly because of reductions reported in Egypt, Morocco, Kenya and Nigeria. South Africa, on the other hand, saw an increase of more than 2%, and Namibia also reported higher feed tonnage in 2022.
The Middle East region is up significantly at 24.7%, 6.301 million tonnes, as a result of more accurate reporting and efforts by the Saudi Arabian government to increase broiler production as part of its Vision 2030 plan.
Oceania was flat, with a small reduction reported by Australia that was offset by a slight increase reported by New Zealand.