by Rebecca Sherratt, Features Editor, Milling and Grain


A recent study by Global Market Insights has evaluated the future growth rates of feed ingredients for 2020-2026, following the continued demand for sustainable protein sources as the world's population continues to rapidly expand. The study certainly suggests that the industry will only continue to evolve and grow and having premier feed ingredients plays a pivotal role in ensuring the optimal health and wellbeing of all animals and humans on the Earth.

The animal feed protein ingredients sector was worth US $160.95 billion in 2019 and the Global Market Insights study suggests that this number will skyrocket up to $245.06bn by 2026, a 7.3 percent increase. The study, which cover a total of 20 countries worldwide and focusses upon 41 leading companies in the feed ingredients sector also explores what it estimates will be the biggest challenges and growth drivers for the sector in the next six years.

In Europe, the study suggests that a potential issue within the industry could be keeping up with the demand for protein-rich feed sources, following the mass increase in livestock production. This is a concern that has been plaguing the sector for many moons, but the industry seems to be continuing to handle this relatively well and members of the sector are all taking reasonable and smart steps to cope with the increase in demand. This will also be a major factor for growth.

The study also notes that key growth drivers include Peru's fast-flourishing aquaculture industry, as well as the renewed emphasis on meat and meat-based products in the Asia-Pacific region (a sector which is expected to exceed $226bn by 2025). On a global scale, pork production has also seen a large increase due to the meat's high levels of thiamine, selenium, vitamin B-6, niacin, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin and protein. Poultry feed is seen to also experience a significant growth, moreso than feed for the aquaculture and livestock sectors.

In terms of restrictions that may slightly hamper the feed ingredient industry, the study highlights strict feed regulatory compliances as well as restrictions on fish farming which may reduce the quantity of farmable protein available.

Which ingredients will play a pivotal role in the coming years?

  • Oilseed meals, produced as a by-product of soybean, copra, sunflower, canola and cottonseed oil extraction, will continue to play a much larger role in feed production. Thanks to oilseed meals' wide variety of applications within chicken, wine and cattle feeds, this flexible ingredient will increase in use through the next few years
  • Canola meal is a similarly flexible solution that can be used in a wide variety of feeds. Thanks to its high cystine amino acid content, as well as high levels of methionine, it can also be used as a supplement for sheep feed. Canola meal has also now been recognised more as a safe, natural feed ingredient which can be reliably used to safeguard your livestock from diseases and ailments
  • Yeast-based probiotics are also seeing a ignificant increase in usage, especially among ruminant feeds. This is due to the impressive recent advancements in yeast-based probiotics which have led to improved gut health in cattle, as well as preventing decreased rumen pH and enhanced fibre digestion. Dry yeast is expected to be more popular in the coming years than alternatives
  • Bone meal is expected to gain significant traction, especially so in North America, Asia-Pacific, Africa and Europe
  • Enzymes, vitamins, prebiotics and organic acids are also expected to be utilised much more frequently within animal feed, in order to ensure the continued health of animals to keep our food chain running at a sustainable and manageable pace. Experts suggest that, in order to gain a competitive advantage in the feed ingredients market, companies should be developing novel microbial strains and expanding their portfolio of products. Phytase specifically is an enzyme which has been steadily increasing in use in past years. In 2018, phytase sales saw an increase of 3.91 percent up to 25,701 million tonnes and this number is expected to continue its steady increase
  • Amino acids are become more and more utilised in the market as we become a much more health-conscious population. The Asia-Pacific region is again expected to see the largest growth in use of amino acids owing to their improved economic conditions and an increased demand. In second place to Asia-Pacific is South America, who also use a significant amount of amino acids for their feed. China will, it is estimated, continue to be the largest exporters of amino acid solutions.

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