by Lisa Cleaver, Feed & Grain magazine
Feed & Grain asked the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) and the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) what they saw as their top three challenges for the 2023 North American animal feed industry. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Ongoing supply chain crunch
The supply chain became turbulent during COVID and never fully righted itself before geopolitics, workforce shortages and disputes, and climate issues stepped in to create more challenges.
The animal feed industry dealt with a variety of grain transportation challenges in 2022, from congestion at ports to poor rail service. The rail industry, facing a labor squeeze, had a potential rail strike deadline looming at the time of this printing, which could be devastating for the grain industry.
The ongoing war in Ukraine also continued to impact supply chains, boosting corn and wheat prices. And low water levels on the Mississippi River brought barge traffic to a halt in October.
2. Labor challenges intensify
The pandemic caused a major disruption in the North American labor force, the impact of which we’re still seeing today. Competition for qualified candidates is fierce and continues to fuel a worker shortage.
3. Continuing global inflation
Slowing national economies in top markets point to the likelihood of a global recession.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated in its October 2022 World Economic Outlook Report that the global economy will grow 3.2% by the end of the year, but forecasts only a 2.7% expansion in 2023.
The report went on to say that one-third of the world’s economies are technically already in a recession, defining this distinction by contractions spanning two consecutive quarters.
Global inflation is forecast to decrease to 6.5% in 2023 after hitting 8.8% at the end of 2022, says the IMF.
In the U.S., Goldman Sachs said it expects a “significant” decline in inflation in 2023 due to easing in supply chain constraints and slower wage growth.
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