LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY, U.S. —  The 2019 Alltech Global Feed Survey, released Jan. 29, estimates that international feed production has increased by a strong 3% to a record 1.103 billion tonnes in 2018, exceeding 1 billion tonnes for the third consecutive year. The eighth edition of the annual survey includes data from 144 countries and nearly 30,000 feed mills. The feed industry has seen 14.6% growth over the past five years, equating to an average of 2.76% per annum. As the population grows, so does the middle class, which is well reflected in an increase in overall protein consumption.

The top eight feed-producing countries are China, the United States, Brazil, Russia, India, Mexico, Spain and Turkey. Together, they produce 55% of the world’s feed and account for 59% of the world’s feed mills, and they can be viewed as an indicator of the trends in agriculture. Predominant growth came from the layer, broiler and dairy feed sectors.

“Alltech works together with feed mills, industry and government entities around the world to compile data and insights to provide an assessment of feed production each year,” said Mark Lyons, PhD, president and chief executive officer of Alltech. “We are proud to present the eighth annual Alltech Global Feed Survey and share the results publicly to demonstrate the importance of the animal feed industry as we strive to provide for a planet of plenty.”

The Alltech Global Feed Survey assesses compound feed production and prices through information collected by Alltech’s global sales team and in partnership with local feed associations in the last quarter of 2018. It is an estimate and is intended to serve as an information resource for policymakers, decision-makers and industry stakeholders.


North America saw steady growth of 2% over last year due to an increase in the major species, with beef and broilers leading the growth at 3% each. The United States remained the second-largest feed-producing country globally, behind China. Feed prices in North America are the lowest globally across all species, and with the availability of land, water and other resources, the region is expected to remain a primary contributor to feed production.

Latin America was relatively stagnant this year. Brazil remained the leader in feed production for the region and third overall globally. Brazil, Mexico and Argentina continue to produce most of the feed in Latin America, with 76% of regional feed production. Brazil stayed flat, while Mexico and Argentina saw growth of 1% and 4%, respectively. Colombia’s feed production grew by approximately 8%, primarily due to an increase in pork and egg production. Several countries saw a decline in feed production, such as Venezuela (-27%), El Salvador (-16%) and Chile (-8%).

Europe saw an overall growth of about 4% over last year, making it the second-fastest-growing region in the survey, resulting from feed production increases in layer (7%), broiler (5%), aquaculture (5%), dairy (4%) and pig (3%). Beef was the only primary protein species to decline, though it was less than 1%.

“Russia continues to be a dominant market in this region,” Lyons said. “About 42% of feed production in Russia is going toward pigs.”

Much of the region’s growth can be attributed to smaller countries, such as Turkmenistan, Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Montenegro, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, which all saw increases in overall production estimates of 20% or more. Additionally, larger-producing countries like Russia, Spain and Turkey saw strong increases in feed production estimates, which added to the overall production growth.

The Asia-Pacific region is home to several of the top 10 feed-producing countries, including China, India and Japan, and accounted for more than 36% of the world’s feed tonnage. China maintained status as the top feed-producing country in the world with 187.89 million tonnes, with 10 million tonnes more than the United States. Increased production for Asia-Pacific came from India with 13% due to growth in dairy, layer and broiler feeds. Other countries that demonstrated higher growth variance included Pakistan, Myanmar and Laos. Southeast Asia’s feed production represented over 20% of the Asia-Pacific region’s feed production, with Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand contributing to 93% of Southeast Asia’s feed production.

“The Asia-Pacific region has maintained production of between 180 million and 190 million tonnes of feed since we began doing this survey in 2012,” Lyons said.

Africa continued strong growth with a 5% increase in overall feed production, and no country in the region saw a decline. Morocco demonstrated strong growth across dairy, beef, layers, broilers and turkeys. The areas that declined for feed production were equine (-4%) and pets (-14%). These two areas represent a small proportion of Africa’s overall production, so the impact is minimal. Most of the major animal production species in ruminant and poultry contributed to the overall growth of the region.

“Africa over the next decade will represent one of the biggest opportunities in the feed industry,” Lyons said.

He noted that in Africa there is rapid growth toward healthier foods and that aqua and poultry will be the proteins in the highest demand on that continent in the coming years.


In the poultry industry, major growth areas for layer feed included Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. In Europe, Poland and Uzbekistan, each saw growth of around 200,000 tonnes. Latin America had increases in Colombia, Peru, Brazil and Mexico. In the Asia-Pacific region, South Korea, India and Indonesia all saw growth of several hundred tonnes. North America experienced overall growth of 2%, in which both the United States and Canada saw increased production. Africa saw a small decrease in layer production due to declines in both Egypt and Seychelles.

Globally, broiler production increased by approximately 3% in 2018. There was growth in all regions, except for Latin America, in which a small decline was observed. Africa showed 9% growth, demonstrating an overall trend that as populations grow and become wealthier, interest in protein — particularly in palatable chicken — does as well.

Pig feed production saw an increase of nearly 1% in 2018. The primary producing region for pig feed is Asia-Pacific, but this was also the only region that saw a decline in pig feed production as Mongolia, Vietnam, China, New Zealand and Japan experienced decreases. From a tonnage standpoint, Europe saw the largest growth at approximately 2.2 million tonnes. Russia and Spain accounted for the majority, while Finland, Denmark, France and Poland also contributed. Latin America saw the greatest growth in pig feed as a percentage at 5%, with the largest growth seen in Mexico and Argentina.

Global dairy feed production saw growth in North America, Europe and Africa, while Latin America remained flat. Europe, a global leader in dairy production, grew on average by approximately 4%. The largest increase was in Turkey with 10%, while Ireland, Russia and the U.K. also contributed to the region’s growth. Africa’s growth was primarily due to a significant increase in both Morocco and Nigeria.  

North America has always led beef feed production and continues to do so with an increase of 3% in 2018. Europe saw a small decline at barely 1% and remained in second place. Latin America saw strong growth of approximately 8%, with Mexico and Argentina as the primary contributors. As a result, the Latin American region has taken third place in beef feed production, moving ahead of the Asia-Pacific region.  China and Australia both saw growth in the Asia-Pacific region but could not offset the overall decline in countries such as Bangladesh, Mongolia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam and Pakistan.

Overall, aquaculture feeds showed growth of 4% over last year. This primarily was attributed to strong increases in the Asia-Pacific and European regions. The traditional Asia-Pacific leaders in aquaculture, Vietnam, India and Indonesia, combined for an additional 1.58 million tonnes of feed in the region. China, the region’s leader, also saw an increase of 1% over last year. The primary European leaders either experienced strong growth or remained relatively flat. Those that did grow included Norway and Turkey, both at 7%, and Spain at a substantial 31%. The other regions remained relatively flat or saw only a 1% increase or decrease in feed production, demonstrating the continuity of the industry as a whole.

The pet food sector saw growth of approximately 1%, primarily attributed to an increase in the Asia-Pacific region, which was offset by a decrease in the Latin American and African regions. North America and the Middle East both remained relatively flat. In previous surveys, Europe had been the top-producing region for pet food production, but after a reassessment of 2017 numbers and despite growth of 2%, it ranks just behind North America. Europe is estimated in 2018 to have produced 8.6 million tonnes in total, approximately 200,000 behind North America. Africa saw a small decrease in production, but the actual tonnage is quite small compared to many of the other regions. The Latin American region experienced a decrease of about 5%, which was spread across several countries, including Chile, Venezuela, El Salvador, Colombia, Argentina and Ecuador.

“The Pet Food sector saw small growth this year, but it will have a lot of opportunities going forward,” Lyons said.