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April 9, 2024 Current Markets & Forecasts

2024 Alltech Agri-Food Outlook shares global feed production survey data

Global animal feed production remained steady in 2023 at 1.29 billion metric tons (BMT), a slight decrease of 2.6 million metric tons (MMT) — or 0.2 per cent — from 2022’s estimates, according to the 2024 Agri-Food Outlook, released by Alltech. The annual survey, now in its 13th year, includes data from 142 countries and more than 27,000 feed mills.

The overall lower demand for feed was due, in part, to the more efficient use of feed made possible by intensive production systems that focus on using animal nutrition, farm management, and other technologies to lower feed intake while producing the same amount of protein, or more. A slowdown in the overall production of animal protein, in response to tight margins experienced by many feed and animal protein companies, also contributed to lower feed demand. Changing consumption patterns caused by inflation and dietary trends, higher production costs and geopolitical tensions also influenced feed production in 2023.

Top 10 countries

The top 10 feed-producing countries are

  • China (262.71 MMT, +0.76 per cent),
  • United States (239.09 MMT, -1.13 per cent),
  • Brazil (83.32 MMT, +1.84 per cent),
  • India (52.83 MMT, +13.43 per cent),
  • Mexico (40.42 MMT, +40.42 per cent),
  • Russia (35.46 MMT, +3.83 per cent),
  • Spain (27.53 MMT, -11.88 per cent),
  • Vietnam (24.15 MMT, -9.63 per cent),
  • Japan (23.94 MMT, -1.15 per cent), and
  • Turkiye (23.37 MMT, -11.48 per cent).

Together, the top 10 countries produced 63.1 per cent of the world’s feed production (same as 2022), and almost half of the world’s global feed production is concentrated in four countries: China, the U.S., Brazil, and India.

Notable species results and outlook

  • Poultry experienced an increase in broiler feed production (385.04 MMT, +13.10 MMT, +3.5 per cent) and remained steady with a slight increase for layers (170.88 MMT, +0.01 MMT, 0 per cent).
  • The global pig feed production sector faced many challenges in 2023, which led to an overall decrease in pig feed production of 1.23 per cent (320.80 MMT, -4.01 MMT).
  • Dairy feed tonnage decreased by 2.3 per cent (126.23 MMT, -2.28 per cent), primarily due to the high cost of feed combined with low milk prices, which led farmers to make strategic adjustments that included reducing their cow numbers and/or relying more on non-commercial feed sources.
  • Beef feed production decreased by 4.36 per cent (117.49 MMT, -5.35 MMT) globally — the most pronounced downward change among all species sectors last year. Changes in cattle cycles in the United States and stricter sustainability policies in Europe had major impacts, with the Asia-Pacific beef sector notable surpassing Europe’s in 2023.
    • The substantial decline in North America was the result of lingering droughts and high production costs, among other issues.
    • While the European and North American beef industries are expected to continue declining in 2024, growth is expected in China, Brazil and Australia —  highlighting the complex dynamics and landscape of beef feed production around the world.
  • The aquaculture sector experienced a decline of 4.4 per cent (52.09 MMT, -2.42 MMT).
  • The equine feed industry experienced a decrease of 3.9 per cent (7.98 MMT, -0.32 MMT) in 2023.
  • The global pet feed industry continues to grow, albeit at a slower pace of 0.74 per cent (34.96 MMT, +0.26 MMT) in 2023. Demand for high-quality pet products and services remains high from pet owners who want only the best for their animal companions.

Notable regional results

  • North America saw a decrease of 2.8 MMT (259.26 MMT, -1.1 per cent) with beef tonnage down significantly. The pig and dairy sectors slipped slightly, but the broiler, layer and pet sectors more than made up the difference. Feed tonnage in the broiler sector was up nearly 2.9 per cent.
  • Latin America experienced growth in 2023 by 2.46 MMT (200.67 MMT, +1.24 per cent). Despite high production costs, geopolitical tensions and changing consumer behaviour due to economic reasons, the region continues to lead global growth, mainly because of its export driven aquaculture, poultry, and pork markets.
  • Europe continued its downward trend in feed production, with a decrease of 10.07 MMT (253.13 MMT, -3.82 per cent), due to issues that included the invasion in Ukraine and the spread of animal diseases such as African swine fever (ASF) and avian influenza (AI).
  • Asia-Pacific led feed production growth in 2023, with an increase of 6.54 MMT (475.33 MMT, +1.4 per cent). Feed production growth in the region’s ruminant sectors offset a setback in the aqua sector. The region is home to several of the top ten feed-producing countries, including China, India, Vietnam, and Japan.
  • Africa experienced continued but slower growth with an increase of 1.95 per cent, nearly 1 MMT to total 51.42 MMT.
  • The Middle East saw a slight decrease of 0.12 MMT (35.93 MMT, -0.32 per cent).
  • Oceania has the third highest growth, 3.71 per cent or r0.39 MMT to total 10.78 MMT.

About the Author

Kara grew up on a grain farm near Bow Island, Alberta. After attending SAIT and the University of Calgary — where she obtained a degree in communication and media studies, and a diploma in broadcast news — Kara began her professional career working in agricultural communications and agricultural journalism. Kara now resides near her family’s farm, raising a mix of livestock, consisting mostly of goats (because something has to eat all that kochia). Kara has a passion for storytelling, but even more so, asking the questions that matter. You can find her surrounded by farmers/ranchers and a cup of coffee — or at an upcoming ABP event!

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