Aquafeed production up by 3.7% worldwide

The world’s production of aquafeed increased by 3.7% last year, showing more growth than most other feed sectors, according to the annual Agri-Food Outlook report from animal nutrition group Alltech.

Alltech works together with feed mills and industry and government entities around the world to compile data and insights to provide an assessment of feed production each year. Compound feed production and prices were collected by Alltech’s global sales team and in partnership with local feed associations in the last quarter of 2021.

Overall, the study estimates, world feed production increased by 2.3% to 1.235 billion tonnes, with 10 countries providing 65% of all animal and aquafeed. The report also finds that in many markets, the feed industry is making progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogen in production processes.

Aquafeed production was stimulated by the growth in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), and rising consumer demand for fish, the report says.

India saw a significant increase in its aquaculture feed tonnage of 9%; additionally, Indonesia accounted for 10% of Asia-Pacific’s growth. In Latin America, Chile, Brazil, Honduras and Ecuador contributed to the regional growth of 5.6%.

The country with the largest increase in feed production by tonnage was China by 8.9% to 261.424 million tonnes. The report says this was driven by the continuing consolidation and modernisation of the country’s feed industry. Swine farms and feed production have moved from utilizing food waste to contracting with professional feed mills. As a result, commercial feed tonnage has increased.

Feed production met local expectations in about half of the surveyed countries while falling short of expectations in about 25% of countries due to continued restaurant closures, high raw material prices and/or African swine fever (ASF). The remaining 25% of countries exceeded expectations, mainly due to recovery from Covid-19 lockdowns, including increased exports to re-opening restaurants.

“The results within our 2022 Alltech Agri-Food Outlook reinforce our confidence and optimism about the future of the agri-food sector,” said Dr. Mark Lyons, president and CEO of Alltech. “We see the resilience of the agri-food sector against the challenges of Covid-19, disease and supply chain disruption, and, even more importantly, there is evidence of growth, modernisation and the adoption of more sustainable practices occurring in parallel.”