Feed Phosphates Market : Business Opportunities and Global Industry Analysis

Published Feb 23, 2022 

Rupali Patil
By Rupali Patil

93 Articles

Feed phosphates provide optimal growth, improve gut health, aid bone development and improve fertility in livestock. Rise in consumption of meat and dairy products and high threat of diseases in livestock are the factors driving the market. The Feed phosphates market is projected to reach 2.80 billion by 2024, from USD 2.25 billion in 2018, at a CAGR of 3.7%.On the basis of type, the monocalcium phosphate segment is projected to grow at the highest rate from 2018 to 2024. Compared to other sources of phosphorus, MCP has some advantages such as neutralizing the harmful effects of a number of elements, such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium; and improving efficiency of carbohydrate, protein, fat, mineral, and energy metabolism in the body, due to which it is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period.

On the basis of livestock, the poultry segment is projected to form the fastest-growing market, during the forecast period. 

On a global level, the total poultry production has been increasing; with such growth in poultry production and consumption, it has become important for meat producers to focus more on quality. Poultry requires relatively large amounts of calcium and phosphorus for normal growth and skeletal development, which gives a boosts the consumption of feed phosphates.

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Driver: High threat of diseases in livestock

The outbreak of diseases such as avian flu, BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy), and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) not only affect livestock breeding and the economy, but also pose a serious threat to human health. The emergence of swine diarrhea in the US caused significant losses to swine farmers. Moreover, countries such as China, India, and Indonesia are constantly facing outbreaks of avian flu and swine flu, due to the hot and humid climatic conditions. Meat vendors, meat processors, wholesalers, retailers, and ultimately livestock growers suffer financial losses, due to the culling of disease-affected animals, which further lead to a drop in animal productivity. The usage of feed phosphates in such cases proved to be an effective medium to reduce such outbreaks by improving animal health with the provision of necessary nutrients. Calcium and phosphorus are two important macro-minerals required for the proper performance, growth, health, and production of livestock.

Restraint: Phytase – High Cost of Phosphates Driving the Demand for Substitutes

The high cost of phosphate salts, such as monocalcium and dicalcium phosphates, has led to the increase in the usage of substitutes such as phytase, which is lower in cost and can be used as a means of controlling the overall feed cost. According to Danisco Animal Nutrition (UK), the feed division of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (US), phytase is included in more than 90% of poultry diets and about 70% of swine diets. According to the same source, phytase has helped the feed industry to reduce feed input and nutritional costs by USD 2 billion per annum.

Apart from being comparatively cost-effective, the usage of phytase in feed has many advantages and fulfils various functionalities of feed phosphates, such as enhancing digestive processes, improving bone health, accentuating body weight, and breaking down indigestible phytic acid (found in grains and oilseeds), thus aiding the release of digestible phosphorus, calcium, and other nutrients that help the growth of animals. Further, phytase promotes higher feed intake when compared to feed phosphates, which help in the physical development of animals, leading to better performance.

Therefore, the market for feed phosphates is expected to experience a moderate growth rate, owing to a number of innovations that are expected to aid market production and supply. However, diversions in the consumption and usage of feed phosphates due to the advent of substitutes, such as phytase, are expected to disrupt the market growth during the forecast period.

Opportunity: Phosphorous Recovery from Fly Ash – Sustainable Sourcing of PhosphorousMost companies in the feed phosphates market have similar kinds of products and use the same kind of production process to produce feed phosphate from phosphate rock, which is a finite resource. However, to ensure a sustainable supply of good quality phosphates for the feed industry, market players need to invest in their R&D and come up with innovative production processes and alternative sources of phosphorus. In recent years, there has been a significant number of innovations in phosphorus recovery technology. Various methods can be applied for phosphorus recovery, including chemical precipitation, biological phosphorus removal, crystallization, and novel chemical precipitation approach, the latest among them being the wet-chemical process using fly ash.

A number of efforts are undertaken to recycle the phosphorus contained in wastewater, sewage sludge as well as from the fly ash of incinerated sewage sludge. Such innovations in production processes and newer raw materials are likely to reduce the dependence on phosphate rock, thereby reducing feed phosphate prices. For instance, EcoPhos (Belgium) developed a wet-chemical process to recover phosphorus from fly ash. The company invested about USD 90 million to build a new animal feed-grade DCP production plant with an annual capacity of 220 KT. This plant incorporates the new process to treat ~50 to 60,000 MT of fly ash

Challenge: Toxicity of feed phosphatesDespite feed phosphates being used as a key component to maintain animal health and productivity, their usage above certain limits could be toxic to animals. For instance, excessive intake of phosphorus can interfere with both calcium and magnesium absorption. Excessive calcium intake by consuming dicalcium phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, mono-dicalcium phosphate, and tricalcium phosphate can lead to osteopetrosis, vertebral ankyloses, and degenerative osteoarthritis in cattle. It also results in reduced feed intake, resulting in lower milk yields in cattle. However, because mineral deficiencies in animals are more common occurrences in comparison to toxicities, there is a general tendency to easily exceed minimum animal requirements. In such cases, it becomes imperative to determine if dietary mineral concentrations exceed the maximum tolerance levels of the cattle. Mineral toxicities, which could be a result of excessive consumption of feed or water, may then have significant degrading effects on animal health and performance.

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The various contributors involved in the value chain of the feed phosphates market include raw material suppliers, R&D institutes, feed phosphate manufacturing companies [such as The Mosaic Company (US), Phosphea (France), Nutrien Ltd. (Canada), OCP Group (Morocco), Yara International ASA (Norway)], feed phosphate distributors, livestock producers, feed manufacturers, and government bodies & regulatory associations [such as the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)].