Published February 2016
Inorganic phosphate supplements play an important role in the animal feed industry. Calcium phosphates, the most widely used phosphate supplements, supply essential minerals for the development of strong teeth and bones in livestock and poultry.
Phosphate chemicals are used commercially in fertilizers, animal feeds, and industrial products, and as additives in food. Overall, animal feed–grade phosphates are estimated to account for only 5% of world phosphate consumption. The largest applications for phosphates are agricultural fertilizers (80%), detergents (12%), and specialty applications (3%). This report focuses on their use as feed supplements for livestock, poultry, and pets.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of feed-grade calcium phosphates:
The following key factors determine the level of consumption of organic and inorganic phosphate supplements:
- Production levels of poultry, pork, beef, milk and eggs
- The differing nutrient requirements of poultry, swine, and cattle, depending upon the type of animal, its life stage, and its purpose
- The price and availability of the feed ingredients used to meet the energy, protein, phosphorus, and calcium requirements of the different animals
Consumption of inorganic calcium phosphates has been declining in recent years in developed countries in part as a result of the following:
- Increased cost of inorganic feed phosphates
- Increased phytase consumption
- Usage of other forms of protein in feed diets
On the other hand, calcium phosphate consumption has been growing in developing countries in part as a result of the following:
- Increased disposable income
- Increased consumption of meat
World consumption of dicalcium phosphate (DCP) (which accounts for 64% of the world total) is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of over 1.5% during 2015–20, led by a projected 4% growth rate in China. Excluding China, world DCP consumption is projected to decline at 0.7% annually during 2015–20. DCP consumption has been declining, particularly in the United States, where decreasing amounts of DCP are produced, and where it is being replaced by monodicalcium phosphate (MDCP).
World consumption of monocalcium phosphate (MCP) (29% of the world total) is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of 2.5% during 2015–20. Growth will be led by China at about 7% per year during 2015–20, followed by Other Asia (about 3.5% per year), Africa and the Middle East, the United States, and Central and South America. Western Europe is the leading consumer, accounting for a share of 26%, followed by the United States, China, Central and Eastern Europe, and Africa and the Middle East.
Growth in the consumption of tricalcium phosphate (TCP) (7% of the world total) is forecast at 2.5% annually during 2015–20. Central and Eastern Europe is the leading consumer at 34%, followed by China (25%), the United States, Japan, and Central and South America. Growth will be led by China and the United States, at about 7% and 3% per year, respectively, during 2015–20. Consumption in most other regions is declining. Most consumption is for poultry.
Consumption of feed-grade calcium phosphates is forecast to grow at 2.0% annually during 2015–20, led by China at 4.6%, Africa and the Middle East at 2.5%, and the United States at 0.9%. Several regions are projected to have declines, including Japan, Central and South America, and Western Europe.
The boom in the biofuel industry resulted in surging demand for phosphate crop nutrition, which pushed up phosphate pricing to historical highs during 2002–08, coupled with rising energy costs. The phosphate industry went through a phase of rapid expansion to meet growing demand for both crop nutrition and animal feed, but it is now faced with overcapacity. The prices for inorganic feed phosphate and phosphate fertilizers recovered from the post-2008 correction until after 2012 when the oversupply issues and lower energy prices started to weigh on the pricing of products. The price of crude oil was at an historical low below $30 per barrel as of January 2016.