Major shifts noted in main feeding regions

by Emily Wilson
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FLUCTUATIONS IN global use of wheat and coarse grains for feed tend to mask major shifts in the main feeding regions, according to a special analysis of feed use of grains by the International Grains Council, London. In a detailed examination of feeding trends, the I.G.C. observed that the total volume of wheat and coarse grains used in feeding rose from 672.9 million tonnes in 1990-91 to a peak of 694.8 million in 1997-98, and was expected to be at 682.5 million in the current 2000-01 season.

"At first glance, world feed use of grain would seem to have grown only moderately in the past decade," the Council said. "Such an interpretation is facile and misleading. It is essential to examine changes in the main feed consuming regions."

The same could be said of feed use of wheat and of coarse grains. The I.G.C. estimated global wheat use for feed in 2000-01 at 91.6 million tonnes, contrasted with 133.1 million at the start of the decade of the 1990s. Feeding currently accounts for 15.4% of world wheat consumption, down from 23.3% in 1990-91.

For coarse grains, feed use in 2000-01 was estimated at 590.9 million tonnes, off from the peak of 596.9 million in 1997-98 but still well above the 539.8 million in 1990-91. Feed use accounts for 66.7% of coarse grain consumption worldwide in 2000-01.