December 14, 2023


In brief: China's ruminant feed market in 2022

An eFeedLink Exclusive


In 2022, the total output of ruminant feed in China was 15.62 million tonnes, a 7.56% increase over 2021.


The output of complete ruminant feed, concentrated feed and premix feed increased without exception.


Ruminant feed mainly comprises dairy cattle feed, beef cattle feed and mutton goat/sheep feed, which accounted for 41%, 30%, and 23% of ruminant feed output, respectively, last year.


With the prices of feed ingredients high, dairy producers have to use a higher proportion of concentrated feed and premixes, resulting in slower growth of complete feed production and, subsequently, a drop in market share.


Industry players in dairy cattle feed production


By the end of 2022, China's top 10 dairy producers, which have 1.85 million Holstein cows in inventories, accounted for 30% of the country's 6.2 million Holstein cow population. They mainly produce their own feeds with their facilities, each manufacturing 200,000-800,000 tonnes per annum. The top 11-30 dairy producers, with a combined inventory of 750,000 dairy cows, also produce their own feeds.


The next category of dairy feed producers consists of super-large feed producers who produce more than one million tonnes of feed per year. Although dairy feed accounts for only a small proportion of their annual output, they produce 100,000-500,000 tonnes per year, which is quite substantial.


Another category of producers includes large-scale feed producers and those specialised in dairy feeds, with an annual output of 50,000-100,000 tonnes. In this category, there are also two Chinese producers specialised in the production of concentrated feeds, premixes and vitamin premixes, with an annual output of 8,000-20,000 tonnes.


The final category is made up of small and medium-sized dairy feed producers.


The Chinese beef cattle sector


China's beef cattle industry is dominated by backyard and small-scale farms, and a smaller number of medium-scale fattening farms. Large-scale farms are rare, which means the concentration of the Chinese beef cattle industry is low.


While large enterprises like Chongqing Hengdu and Hualing Agriculture Science and Technology Development Co.,Ltd have certain locational advantages, they are far from forming a large-scale agriculture and animal husbandry group at the national level.


In 2021, the top 30 beef cattle producers in China have a combined inventory of 762,000 beef cattle. Therefore, China's beef cattle feed production is relatively scattered, with a low degree of concentration.


- Shi Tao, eFeedLink