Japan feed production highest in five years at 23.9 million tonnes

JAPAN – Japan feed production reached 23.9 million tonnes in 2017-18 driven by strong demand from the poultry sector, rising to its highest level since 2012-13, a World Grain report suggests.

Citing reference to a March 15 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), World Grain indicates that while livestock levels hold steady, demand is not expected to change in 2019-20.

FAS said that feed corn production is likely to be affected by increased risk of red rust disease and a large volume of residuals given that the cultivation period is longer.

These are some of the challenges facing feed corn farmers despite the government’s efforts to incentivize their production.

The ratio of corn in compound and mixed feed is increasing, reaching 47.9%, its highest level since 2008-09, said the report.

FAS estimates that total Japanese corn imports in 2017-18 increased 3.3% to 15.67 million tonnes and feed demand is expected to remain stable.

Rice usage in feed has dropped significantly as demand from manufacturers to produce items such as crackers and miso increased.

Rice usage for feed in 2017-18 was down 25% to 824,000 tonnes, attributed to the fact that bad weather during the growing season hurt rice yields, which dropped 1.2%.

This led to a 1.7% decline in production to 7.65 million tonnes in 2018-19.

In Northern Japan, yields declined as a result of low temperatures coupled with a lack of sunshine from mid-June to mid-July, affecting the volume of rough rice in Hokkaido.

Wheat production as down 9.5% to 880,000 tonnes due to bad weather conditions in Hokkaido and according to FAS, planting area for 2019-20 is expected to remain unchanged but production is forecast to increase 8% to 950,000 tonnes.

Food wheat consumption is forecast to continue to total 5.8 million tonnes in 2018-19 and 2019-20 and in 2017-18, demand for feed wheat is estimated at 750,000 tonnes.

In January this year, Japan’s usage of corn in animal feed rose to 48.8%, compared with 47.9% in the same month of 2018, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

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