A “puzzling” flat-lining in the production of aquafeed in 2014, despite sustained growth in the consumer demand for farmed fish, has been revealed in the latest Alltech global feed survey which was based on data collected from more than 31,000 feed mills in some 130 countries.
The production of aquafeed by feed mills grew by just 1.8 percent to about 41 million metric tons in spite of the growth seen in commercial fish farming during the year.
The company’s chief innovation officer and director of the global feed tonnage survey, Aidan Connolly, who presented the survey’s findings to the press, said he was really puzzled by the lack of growth in the aquafeed industry last year, especially as “more and more of the fish consumed by the public are coming from farmed fish instead of from the sea.
Total global animal feed production rose by about 2% from roughly 960 million tons in 2013 to 980 million metric tons in 2014 with aquafeed taking a 4% share in the total market with just over 41 million metric tons, the survey revealed.
The Asia-Pacific region remained by far the largest producer of aquafeed, with 27.079 million metric tons (with China being far the largest in the world, with 18.27 million metric tons), followed by Latin America, which produced just 8 million metric tons. In Europe, the feed industry produced 3.2 million metric tons, while North America lagged behind with 1.8 million metric tons.
Mr Connolly said he had expected to see a bigger increase in aquafeed production over the next five to 10 years as the demand for protein and farmed fish grew.
“I think last year was just a blip and we will see significant growth in future as systems become more efficient and the demand for farmed fish with all the right nutrients grows,” he said.
2015 marks the fourth consecutive year that Alltech has conducted this global feed survey, which outlines Alltech’s estimate of the world’s feed tonnage and trends to date and is intended to serve as an industry resource for the coming year.