A joint venture signed between Ecophos and Chanhen has sent a wave of anticipation through the feed phosphate market as the 5 billion RMB investment, when completed, will process 2.2 million tons of low grade phosphate rock annually into 400,000 tons of high-quality feed phosphate. The joint venture will serve local and regional demand for specialty feed and fertilizer phosphates besides addressing other needs in the Chinese construction and ceramics industry. So far, experts seem to be keen on stating that this is one of the most lucrative JVs feed phosphate industry has witnessed of late.
In 2017, feed phosphate market size surpassed $3.5 billion and is forecast to surpass a consumption of 11 million tons by 2024, primarily driven by the rise in worldwide consumption of meat. As the demand for meat and meat products witnesses an incline, the necessity to improve meat quality surfaces as a vital challenge. Given that adding phosphate to livestock diet is one of the best ways of ensuring good meat quality, the rising demand for meat will undeniably propel feed phosphate industry trends.
Having registered considerable growth in feed phosphate industry, Ecophos Group, a company based in Belgium, recently invested in building a new plant for Aliphos, the feed ingredients business unit of Ecophos and also a significant contributor to the world inorganic feed phosphate industry. With the new plant in Dunkirk, France, Aliphos became the largest inorganic feed phosphate producer in Europe with approximately 50% feed phosphate market share in the region. Aliphos has recently set up a production line in the Netherlands that manufactures 80,000 tons of granulated products and has a total capacity of producing 300,000 tons of products annually. Such initiatives on the part of feed phosphate producers clearly highlight the profitability landscape of the feed phosphate market over 2018-2024.
Meat consumption in Europe and North America has always been remarkably higher but changing trends in meat consumption in Asia Pacific has made the region a competitive ground for the feed phosphate market. Over the past 20 years increased per capita income and global growth has significantly changed food production, trade and consumption in many countries. With urbanization, increase in disposable incomes and globalization, food consumption pattern has exhibited diversification. Today, cultures that hitherto had limited meat consumption either due to traditional beliefs or economic reason, have increased their meat consumption. Indeed, this consumption has been increased to such an extent that modern animal science-based feed industries, inclusive of feed phosphate market have witnessed a rapid evolution. Countries like China have registered such a revolutionary increase in beef and pork consumption that the government is planning to step in to limit the trend to some extent.
Even if the trends for healthier eating and limiting meat consumption as a part of sustainable living is embraced, China is still one of the largest meat consumers in the world. According to U.S. agriculture department estimates, people in China will consume around 74 million tons of beef, pork and poultry, an amount that is twice as much as that of the United States. Chinese hog farmers have therefore gone on a building spree with the construction of modernized farms and leading producers from overseas have altered their production standards to meet that of China. Such statistics have majorly affected the revenue graph of feed phosphate industry in the country and by extension, even the Asia Pacific region. Estimates claim the APAC will account for 59% of the global population by 2020, thereby laying the ground for an equally large share in the global meat consumption.
Experts have observed that 2017 had been an eventful year for the feed phosphate industry with Aliphos completing the setup of a plant in the Netherlands and starting a new plant in Dunkirk while Phosphea, a subsidiary of Groupe Roullier buying the feed phosphate business from the Serbian Elixir Group. Elixir’s business spread across Central and Eastern Europe includes a feed phosphate plant in Prahovo, Serbia that has a production capacity of 100,000 tons. Phosphea would be continuing its ambition of developing and integrating a platform based in dynamic markets.
According to experts, such consolidation moves would continue over the forecast period as forming joint ventures and partnerships will help companies in enhancing their regional presence. Aided by the appreciable efforts put in by prominent contenders, feed phosphate industry is likely to traverse alongside a highly remunerative growth path over 2018-2024.