US pet food exports increased significantly in 2021

While the U.S. and other countries saw an increase in exports, China fell short of its commitment to the U.S.-China Phase One Trade Agreement.

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Recent data from the U.S. Department of Commerce show that U.S. pet food exports increased significantly from 2020 (US$1.72 billion) to 2021 (US$2.05 billion). Canada, Mexico, China, Japan and South Korea were among the top five export markets.

Every year since 2015 (US$1.28 billion), the pet food exports have increased with the US$2.05 billion in 2021 being the highest export levels since around 1970, according to the data from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Specifically to pet food, exports have increased 19% in value and Mexico represents 18% of the increase alone.

When looking at products such as feed additives, premixes, distillers dried grains with solubles, soybean meal, alfalfa and hay products, animal meals and pet food, the animal industry exports have grown 22% in 2021 compared to in 2020.

The U.S.-China Phase One Trade Agreement

China exports had seen an increase of over 41% alone. Back in 2017, China pet food exports were around US$6.54 million and have increased to US$72.48 million in 2021. As February 14 marked the two-year anniversary of the U.S.-China Phase One Trade Agreement, China is US$17.8 billion below the commitment.  

“You know, it is really clear that the Chinese haven’t met their commitment in phase on,” said Sarah Bianchi, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, at an event hosted by the Washington International Trade Association. “That’s something we’re trying to address… It’s not our goal to escalate here. But certainly we’re looking at all the tools we have in our toolbox to make sure they’re held accountable.”

The large increase of pet food exports can be a bit misleading. Exports that previously went to Hong Kong are now diverted to China due to the phase one agreement. Another influence effecting the growth is the number of tariffs China has put on feed and pet food imports from the U.S.
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