Infographic: Top US pet food export markets in 2017

From 2011 to 2015, US pet food exports experienced a downward trend.

image created with Piktochart
image created with Piktochart

Total US pet food exports reached US$1.198 billion between January and October 2017, up from US$1.165 billion in during the same period in 2016, according to John Stewart of the American Feed Industry Association using US Department of Commerce and US International Trade Commission data. See the top 10 export markets for US pet food in the infographic below.

Stewart shared this information during his presentation at the International Processing and Production Expo in Atlanta, Georgia, USA on January 30, 2018.

Recent economic trends in US pet food exports

From 2011 to 2015, US pet food exports experienced a downward trend, Stewart said. However, in 2016 that trend reversed slightly. In 2016, the United States pet food industry exported 716 trillion metric tons with a value of US$1.6 billion. The financial results for all of 2017 will likely outstrip those of 2016, he said, since the total from January to October 2017 was higher that from the same period in 2016.

 From January to October in 2016 and 2017, Canada was the top destination for US pet food by a long shot. During that period in 2016, Canada imported US$496 million in pet food from its southern neighbor. That value increased to US$526 million in 2017.

The other two nations in the top three imported less US pet food in 2016, though. Second ranked Japan imported US$94 million from January to October in 2016, dropping to US$93 million in 2017. Mexico, US’ third largest pet food export market, dropped from US$84 million to US$77 million.

Loss of NAFTA would affect US pet food market

As fears of a looming trade war circulate in the news, a break down in tariff-free international trade would likely hit the pet food industry, especially considering that Canada and Mexico are two of the top three export markets for US pet food. If US President Donald Trump walks away from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) would make US pet food more expensive in those two nations, Stewart said.

“When you look at Canada and Mexico, if you were to lump those two together, you see the value and importance of the North American Free Trade Agreement and why the animal food industry is concerned, why the pet industry needs to be concerned and also why agriculture as a whole needs to be concerned,” Stewart said. "Those are growing markets for us. That's why NAFTA is so important.”

Since NAFTA came into effect in 1994, US pet food exports to Mexico and Canada have increased 184 percent, compared to 129 percent in the rest of the world. Mexico and Canada now account for 50 percent of total US pet food exports, up from 38 percent in 1993.

“If we were to walk away from NAFTA today, the job loss would be catastrophic,” he said. “It would absolutely wreck the economy… Our president has said that he's willing to walk away. Agriculture as a whole has said please don't do that.”

top US pet food export markets 2017 ; US pet food export import values 2017

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