NICHOLASVILLE, KY. — Global feed production grew in 2021 despite lingering implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, widespread supply chain issues, labor shortages and trade tensions. Pet food production soared to meet increased demand, particularly in the North America and Asia-Pacific regions.

Alltech shared global feed production rates and year-over-year growth comparisons for seven categories — layers, broilers, pigs, dairy, beef, aquaculture and pets — in its 2022 Global Feed Survey and Agri-Food Outlook report. The report includes data from more than 28,000 animal feed mills across over 140 countries.

Global pet food production

Global pet food production reached 34.17 million metric tons in 2021, up 8.2% compared to 2020. Alltech attributed this boost to increased pet ownership during the COVID-19 pandemic. This feed sector saw the highest year-over-year growth of all seven categories.

By region, Europe topped the charts with the highest pet food production by volume in 2021, producing 11.59 million metric tons at a year-over-year growth rate of 2.7%. Pet food production in North America totaled 10.60 million metric tons in 2021, up 12.7% from 2020.

The highest year-over-year growth in pet food production lied with the Asia-Pacific region, which produced 3.81 million metric tons at a 17.1% growth rate.

Pet food production in Latin America grew 7.7% to 7.18 million metric tons, and production in Africa grew 2.3% to roughly 454,000 metric tons. Oceania produced roughly 452,000 metric tons of pet food in 2021 and the Middle East produced approximately 75,000 metric tons. Growth in pet food production volume for Oceania and the Middle East regions were flat compared to 2020.

“While some regions remained flat, there were no reported decreases in any region around the world,” Alltech stated.Pet food production volume by region, 2021 (Source: Alltech)

Within North America, the United States produced the most pet food in 2021, followed by Mexico and Canada. The United States produced 9.80 million metric tons in 2021, up 12.5% from 2020; Mexico produced 1.31 million metric tons of pet food in 2021, up 6.5% from 2020, and Canada produced 800,000 metric tons of pet food in 2021, up 14.3% from 2020.

Globally, a few countries stood out in terms of pet food production in 2021. Brazil produced 3.23 million metric tons of pet food last year; Russia produced 1.24 million metric tons; France produced 1.20 million metric tons; Spain produced 1.18 million metric tons; Germany produced 1.10 million metric tons; and China produced 1.06 million metric tons.

Global feed production

Global feed production grew 2.3% to 1.24 billion metric tons in 2021, compared to 1.21 billion metric tons in 2020. According to Alltech, the top 10 feed-producing countries accounted for 65% of global feed production last year.

The top 10 feed-producing countries in 2021 were:

  1. China (261.42 million metric tons)
  2. United States (231.54 million metric tons)
  3. Brazil (80.09 million metric tons)
  4. India (44.06 million metric tons)
  5. Mexico (38.86 million metric tons)
  6. Spain (35.58 million metric tons)
  7. Russia (33 million metric tons)
  8. Turkey (25.3 million metric tons)
  9. Japan (24.80 million metric tons)
  10. Germany (24.51 million metric tons)

Cost inflation and supply chain disruptions caused continued challenges for feed manufacturers around the world. One-third (33%) of all countries included in Alltech’s 2022 Global Feed Survey reported high material prices were the most significant challenge for the agricultural sector last year.

Additionally, geopolitical issues caused export challenges for feed manufacturers in Africa, the Middle East and countries surrounding Russia, Alltech reported.

Read our past reports of Alltech's Global Feed Surveys from 2018, 2019 and 2020.