The study team will undertake a comprehensive literature review to formulate recommendations on how the feed industry can survive if the future competition for corn as a feedstock for fuel and animals remains tight — or gets tighter.
Wisner’s team will also focus on China’s current and future economic situation as part of AFIA’s sustainability report.
With Asia — especially China — in a sustained long-term economic upswing, the world’s most population-dense nations are shifting their diets to include more animal protein. This upward trend in global meat consumption will only add pressure to an already strained feed grains supply.
“China has become a huge importer of soybeans,” says Wisner. “They account for nearly 60% of world soybean imports and about 60% roughly of our own soybean exports. That reflects their rapidly growing livestock, poultry and aquaculture industry. The question is now, ‘are they poised to become a large importer of corn?’”
During the 2010-11 marketing year, China’s corn imports moved up strongly, even though the Chinese government and USDA figures show they had record corn yields and production. Wisner’s team is analyzing the percentage change in China’s corn production compared to its percentage change in their poultry and pork production to make projections of their future imports.
“China’s poultry and pork sectors are expanding more rapidly than their corn production, so that’s a caution as we look ahead. The question becomes ‘with a slowdown in the growth of ethanol, will China become a more significant factor?’ Early indications suggest that in the relatively near as well as long-term future, China could be a factor in tightening feed grain supply.”
C-FARE’s final conclusions on China’s future impact on the U.S. feed industry will be included in the 50-page report, which AFIA’s CEO Joel Newman will summarize and present at FASS’ Joint Annual Meeting from July 15–19 in Phoenix. Dr. Wisner will be on hand to answer questions.