July 21, 2011


Japan's May compound feed production decreases



Japan's total compound feed production declined 3% in May to 1.92 million tonnes when compared to last year, reflecting a consecutive on year declination for the fifth month, Agriculture Ministry data indicated on Wednesday (Jul 20).


In April, total output of compound feed for animals decreased 6.9% from a year earlier to 2.027 million tonnes.


A farm ministry official said the trend in the past couple of months reflected the effects of the March 11 earthquake.


"The drop in output over the past couple of months has been likely prompted by the loss of output from factories that have been closed since the earthquake," the official said.


Of the 163 factories surveyed for the data, 157 responded, with the six that did not do so or about 4% of the total, were likely to have been among those industrial facilities in wide areas of northeastern Japan hit by the quake, the official said.


A higher price of corn was another possible reason prompting a shift from mixed feed, which mainly uses corn, to formula feed, resulting in a sharp on year decline in mixed feed.


The official said the rise in corn prices since July last year could distort on year comparisons in the coming months.


In May, output of formula feed fell 2.5% from year earlier while output of mixed feed plunged 30.5% from a year earlier.


The price of corn doubled to around US$7.30 a bushel in May from a year earlier.


Japan is the world's biggest importer of corn, the main ingredient in animal feed in Japan. The US is its main supplier of corn for feed use.

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