Feed Bussiness Worldwide: March 2014
Agribusiness's paradoxical feed foundation
Far from its common perception of being a mundane, unsexy commodity, the world feed industry is dynamic, ever changing and rife with asymmetrical inequalities, opportunities and contradictions.
A highly concentrated input
Like wealth, both feed inputs and its production are highly concentrated. America and China account for 23% of the world's population but together, they produce 37.5% of the world's feed. Given China's vast rapidly growing meat consumption and growing demand for American meat exports, these two countries will continue accounting for nearly two-fifths of the world's feed production far into the future.
Feed supplies are highly concentrated in a tiny handful of feed crop exporting, feed crop importing, meat exporting or meat producing nations. America, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Thailand are world leading exporters of meat and feed crops. Vietnam, India, Indonesia and the Philippines have the world's fastest growing meat consumption. China is the world's leading meat producer, top soy importer, and will soon overtake Japan and South Korea to become the top corn importer. In a world of over 190 countries, China, Japan, South Korea, 7 Southeast countries and their 4 North and South American suppliers produce over 63% of the world's feed –with America and China accounting for 59% this group's output.
But the disparity between these top feed producing countries is as great as between those who produce those feed and those who don't. For example, China was 2013's leading feed producer, making an eFeedLink estimated 192.0 million tonnes of feed, followed by America, which produced 168.5 million tonnes. In Alltech's 2014 Global Feed Survey, despite having 92% as many people as China, India only produced only 13.8% of the latter's feed volume, amounting to 26.4 million tonnes.
In fact, India's feed output was little more than Japan's 24.2 million tonnes, even though Japan has only 10% of India's population. Even Thailand, with 5% as many people as India, produces 61% as much feed.
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