China's meat consumption propels need for fertilisers and feed

Publish time: 29th January, 2010      Source:
Information collection and data processing:  CCM     For more information, please contact us

January 29, 2010


China's meat consumption propels need for fertilisers and feed



Analysts believe that China's meat consumption is driving a need for fertilisers more than steel.


If China's industrialisation follows the course of other nations, per capita demand for infrastructure like concrete and steel will peak long before meat consumption does.


Analysts point to this as the reason why mergers and acquisitions activity in the agriculture sector has become so popular. For example, Vale, based in Brazil, just agreed to buy Bunge's Brazilian fertilizer assets for US$3.8 billion.


In the US, while steel production per capita peaked in the 1950s, demand for meat has grown consistently, as Americans now eat 125kg of meat a year, an increase of 60% since the 1950s. Other developed countries show similar patterns.


While China is eating more protein, it still has to catch up with the developed world. Per capita consumption of meat in China is less than 45kg, and this figure may be inflated.


Producing more animals to keep up with growing demand will require mountains of feed - one full steer requires around 1,360 kg of feed.


Growing this grain will increase demand for fertiliser substantially. China is already the biggest consumer of potash (a quarter of all global production) and the top producer of phosphate.