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Alltech: Asia leads jump in world feed production
Illinois Correspondent

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Asian countries led an increase in feed production last year, with world producers making an estimated 959 million tons, a 4-5 percent increase over the previous year.

The statistics were part of the second survey conducted by Alltech, a world producer of feed supplements based in Kentucky, and this time the survey found sources of some feed it didn’t in 2011. Overall, total feed production probably increased by about 10 percent when including those new sources, said Adian Connolly, an Alltech vice president who oversaw the survey.

The 2012 tracking looked at 134 countries and an estimated 26,240 feed mills, and took place during the early part of December 2012.

“This is the largest estimate ever for global feed tonnage,” said Connolly, who noted he expects food production overall to increase between 1-2 percent each year for the next decade. Supply should meet global demand, he added.

China, with a world-leading 10,000 feed mills, produced 191 million tons of feed last year, followed by the United States with its 5,251 feed mills producing 179 million tons.

“As we look to the demands of the future – chiefly, the feeding of nine billion people by 2050 – these survey results should stir optimism and resolve within our feed and food industries,” said Pearse Lyons, president of Alltech.

“Our global feed industry is rising to the challenge, and we’re seeing growth across the board. Moreover, we’re seeing it in some particularly key areas – BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China), Africa and aquaculture.”

While other organizations attempt to track feed on a global scale, it was Alltech’s information the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization sought out in Rome recently, in large part because of its tracking methods, Connolly said.

“Obviously, these numbers can change month-to-month depending on a number of factors, particularly weather … but we’re getting this information directly from feed mills, even small ones operated on farms,” Connolly said.

The highest percentage growth occurred in Africa, and the type of feed with the greatest growth was for aquaculture, according to the survey. Brazil produced the third-most feed, at an estimated 66 million tons with 1,267 feed mills.

Asia continues to be the world’s No. 1-producing region, at 350 million tons. Africa exceeded Asia in percent growth over 2011 results, increasing its tonnage nearly 15 percent from 47 million in 2011 to 54 million in 2012.

Product for poultry continues as the dominant feed type; with 411 million tons, it makes up about 43 percent of all feed. It increased by 8 percent. Other findings include:

•The pig feed sector matched poultry’s 8 percent growth, moving to 218 million tons globally

•The ruminant market, comprising dairy, beef and other small animals, grew more than 13 percent between late 2011 and December 2012, and now requires 254 million tons

•Equine feed tonnage increased almost 17 percent to 10.8 million tons

•Aquaculture is the fastest growing species sector by tonnage, with growth greater than 55 percent since 2011

•Pet food represents 20.5 million tons, 40 percent of which is produced in the United States, but Brazil continues to grow in this sector

•Sixty percent of feed produced globally is pelleted
To view the entire survey report, go to