INTERNATIONAL livestock feed production has exceeded one billion tonnes for the first time - a 3.7 per cent increase on last year.
The stockfeed sector growth predominantly came from the beef, pig and aquaculture demand in the two leading producers, China and the US, as well as several African, Asian and Middle Eastern countries.
The 2017 Alltech Global Feed Survey estimates stockfeed production has increased 19pc in the past five years despite a 7pc reduction in the number of feed mills.
The sixth annual survey covered 141 countries and more than 30,000 feed mills.
The US and China produce a third of all animal feeds according to the findings.
The top 10 feed-producing countries in 2016, in order of production output, were China, the US, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, India, Russia, Germany, Japan and France.
These countries had 56pc of the world's feed mills and accounted for 60pc of total production.
Globally Alltech put the value of the feed industry at $608b ($US460b).
"This year clearly demonstrates the growing efficiency and consolidation of the feed industry," Alltech's chief innovation officer and vice president of corporate accounts Aidan Connolly said
"Not only has total feed production exceeded 1b tonnes it has done so with greater efficiencies and a decreased environmental footprint."
The Alltech survey assesses compound feed production and prices through information collected by its global sales team, in partnership with local feed associations.
It serves as an information resource for policymakers, decision makers and industry stakeholders.
It showed the top 30 countries, ranked by production output, are home to 82pc of the world's feed mills and produce 86pc of the world's total feed.
In Asia, China produced 187.20 million tonnes, while increased production also came from Vietnam, Pakistan, India and Japan.
Vietnam grew 21pc and ranked among the top 15 countries for the first time, specifically led by increased production of pig and broiler feed.
Asia continues to be one of the most expensive locations in the world to raise animals as Japan's feed prices are some of the world's highest.
China's prices are double that of most of the top 10 producing countries.
North American feed production remains relatively flat, however, the region still leads others in feed production for the beef, turkey, pet and equine sectors.
Africa had the fastest regional growth for the fifth year running, with more than half of its countries achieving growth.
Nigeria, Algeria, Tunisia, Kenya and Zambia each showed significant growth greater than 30pc.
For the first time in several years the European Union saw feed tonnage growth, led by Spain with 31.9m tonnes produced in 2016, up 8pc.
Production fell in Germany, France, Turkey and the Netherlands.
In Latin America Brazil remained the leader, while Mexico saw the highest growth in tonnage.
Mexico now accounts for more than 20pc of South America's total feed production, but still only about half of Brazil's total production.
Overall, Latin America has moderate feed prices, but Brazil's has increased in the past year.
Compared to US values, Brazil's feed prices are 20pc higher for pigs and 40pc higher for layers and breeders.
Mr Connolly said overall global feed prices were down.
Notable species results from global feed survey included production for the poultry industry representing 44pc of the total feed output.
The figure was a slight drop from last year, possibly a result of avian influenza, industry consolidation and more efficient feed conversion.
Positive growth was observed in pig feed production, particularly in Asia as Vietnam and Thailand which were now top 10 pig-producing countries.
China represents over a quarter of the world's pig feed production, but sow numbers are down almost 40pc on three years ago.
Global dairy feed production remained flat.
The US maintained its top position in the beef industry with feed production about 10pc higher than last year.
China, Spain, Turkey and Mexico all increased beef feed production.
Aquaculture continued its year-over-year growth with a gain of 12pc, with production from Turkey, Germany, the UK and France contributing to a strong performance from the European region.