Global feed tonnage is estimated to be at 995.5m tonnes, a 1.5% increase on last year, according to the latest Alltech Global Feed Survey.

This is also a 14% increase on 2011, when Alltech published its first Global Feed Survey.

The analysis of five-year trends showed growth predominantly from the pig, poultry and aqua feed sectors and intensification of production in the African, Middle Eastern, Latin American and European regions, according to Alltech.

Aidan Connolly, Chief Innovation Officer at Alltech, said that the feed industry is an excellent barometer of economic health and, based on Alltech’s five years of data, predicts economic growth more accurately than many other indices.

The Global Feed Survey assesses the compound feed production from more than 130 countries through information obtained in partnership with local feed associations and Alltech’s sales team, who visit more than 32,000 feed mills annually.

The survey shows that last year Ireland produced 3.701m tonnes of feed while the UK produced 15.594m tonnes.

The 2016 survey showed poultry feed has the market share and is growing faster than any other species, with 46% of total global feed manufactured specifically for broilers, egg layers, turkeys, duck and other fowl.

This year’s survey also confirmed that corn and soybean meal are the standard feed ingredients globally.

The survey also found that the top 10 feed producers in the world remained the same

  1. China
  2. United States
  3. Brazil
  4. Mexico
  5. India
  6. Spain
  7. Russia,
  8. Germany
  9. Japan
  10. France
As a region, Europe saw the most growth, up 13m tonnes over last year, with the largest contributions coming from Russia, Turkey, Belarus and Poland.

Down 2% from last year, China still holds the title of leading feed producer in Alltech’s annual Feed Survey with 179.930m tonnes manufactured throughout the country’s 8,550 feed mills.

However, this is the third year the world’s leader has reported a consolidation of its feed tonnage production into a smaller number of feed mills.

The number of feed mills in the US and Brazil, the second and third largest markets, also declined, according to the survey.

The US. produced 172.730m tonnes from 6,012 feed mills (6,718 mills in 2014) and Brazil manufactured 68.7m tonnes from 1,556 feed mills (1,698 mills in 2014).

According to Connolly, the consolidation of feed production into fewer mills is driven by many factors.

The Chinese, in particular, see a benefit of having fewer feed mills—lower cost, more efficient and easier to control from the perspective of traceability and food safety.

Europe’s 5,545 feed mills, with Russia’s contributions, augmented their production by 22% in 2015 compared to the previous year.

Pig feed production was down 2%, with 253.53m tonnes and equine feed, at 8.22m tonnes declined 2% compared to 2014.

Ruminant feed was positive with 201.36m tonnes, a 3% increase.