April 28, 2017
China Feed Market Monthly Review: March feed output rebounds strongly from February lows in China
An eFeedLink Exclusive
Recovery of livestock industry, together with booming aquaculture production, lifts China feed output significantly.

                                          TableChina's feed production in February 2017                                                                                    


Hog feed

Layer feed

Broiler feed

Aqua feed

Ruminant feed




Feed production change compared with previous month (%)








eFeedLink’s statistics                                                                                    
Market Analysis

From extremely low levels in February, hog feed output expanded 11.60% while the poultry sector, which walked out of the shadow of the bird flu outbreak, saw feed production increase over 7%. Meanwhile aqua feed output jumped 53.39%, although overall volumes remained below 300,000 tonnes. With all sectors expanding, China's feed manufacturers produced 10.72% more than in February. Compared with a year ago, March feed output inched lower 0.04%.
Soymeal prices dropped 5% during March as global soy futures market tumbled with the US and south America set to enjoy bumper harvests for the season. Meanwhile, corn market strengthened over the month with supplies tightening as most farmers have cleared their stocks. On average, corn prices increased about 3%.
Fishmeal prices slid during middle of March, but rebounded towards end of the month. The market was concerned about Peru's low fish catch in the southern seas, but remained prudent in making purchases. Hence, even as aqua feed production increased prominently, fishmeal prices dipped 1% over the month.
In the feed additives market, vitamin C prices surged 30% over the month. While strict environmental controls resulted in scarce availability of raw ingredients, the demand for vitamin C from the aquaculture sector grew substantially, hence pushing prices to rise rapidly.
Price hikes of other products were limited, with vitamin K3 up by 7% and vitamin B1 rising 3%. While most products were stable in prices, those of vitamin A, calcium pantothenic acid and vitamin B2 plummeted 12% on excess supplies. Vitamin E, vitamin B12 and folic acid prices decreased between 3% and 7% over the month.
Amino acid markets stayed weak as well, with tryptophan, threonine and methionine prices falling 4% to 7%. Lysine prices plunged 16% to 19% amid slack hog feed sales and dropping soymeal prices.
Hog feed
Hog population stabilised from its one-and-a-half year decline, albeit with a 0.17% feeble rebound. Although prices of hog continued to fall substantially by 6%, feed production surged 11.60% from February's extremely low levels.
Complete feed output grew 11.16% while prices slid 0.33% to RMB3,030/tonne amid lower soymeal costs. Output volume of concentrated feed and premixes surged 14.25% and 10.25% respectively.
Layer feed
Egg prices recovered during March at a modest pace of 3.5%. Nonetheless, compared to March 2016's RMB6.30/kg, egg prices were still 25% lower. Despite higher egg prices, inventories of layer stayed flat during March as farmers limited pullet purchases on the one hand and discarded more aging hens on the other hand.
Layer feed production volumes increased 7.40% on-month, but was lower by over 5% on-year.
Premixes production rose at the fastest pace of 11.75%, followed by concentrated feed, which grew 10.66%. Complete feed output expanded at a moderate rate of 6.46%, while prices slid 0.76% to RMB2,620/tonne.
Broiler feed
March broiler inventories registered a strong growth of almost 8%, as the broiler market recovered from the bird flu epidemic. However, overall feed demand was decimated by extremely low release volume, as finishing broiler quantity was limited due to the severe disease outbreak between October and February. Meanwhile, prices of AA broiler rebounded strongly by 32%, hence strengthening the confidence of feed millers to step up production.
Overall, broiler feed output expanded by 7.80% over the month. Complete feed production increased 7.78% over the month, whereas output of premixes and concentrated feed rose by 6.31% and 8.57% respectively.
Prices of complete feed for broiler dipped 1% to RMB3,010/tonne.
Aquaculture feed
All regions have resumed aqua feed production in China. As expected, aquaculture production surged while the climates in China turned warmer. Although the overall aqua feed output remained low even after expanding 53.39%, it was higher by over 1% compared with March 2016.
Complete feed, the main aqua feed type, recorded a robust growth of 52.92% during March. Premixes production, which was negligible during February, surged over 100%. Nevertheless, the output of concentrated feed was almost non-existent.
Ruminant feed
Ruminants feed output increased at a commendable rate of 8.79%, but remained about 10% below last March's level.
Production volume of complete feed, concentrated feed and premixes increased at 8.48%, 10.49% and 5,83% respectively.
Market forecast
As flat sow population decimates the availability of piglet, limited hog numbers will continue to hamper the sales of feed. Poultry market should expand steadily without the threat of bird flu disease, but cautious mood of feed producers will impede the growth of feed output.
The strongest growth in feed production is expected to be seen in the aquaculture sector, which is common during this time of the year. Production volume of aqua feed is likely to double barring any disruptive climates in the southern coast of China.
On the whole, feed production volume will continue to expand in April albeit at a slower pace.

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