Although a tragic loss of life, the Russian escalation of the conflict in Ukraine on February 24 likely won’t directly affect the U.S. pet food industry, but businesses may feel the effects of Ukrainian commodity export disruptions.
“Ukraine is not a major market for U.S. pet food right now, with US$1.15 million in exports in 2021,” Betsy Flores, senior vice president of public policy for the Pet Food Institute (PFI). “However, the global pet food industry and broader food and agriculture sector may see impacts on some of the top commodities that Ukraine produces, particularly wheat and sunflower oil. These are both major exports from Ukraine and any disruption could have effects on the global ingredient marketplace.”
Ukraine conflict and the global supply chain
Any problems with Ukrainian commodity supplies could exacerbate existing supply chain problems. The fighting in the Black Sea region has caused uncertainty and higher prices, as Russia and Ukraine are major global producers of several grains and oilseeds, according to analysts with Rabobank, reported Feed Strategy. Ukraine and Russia export approximately 29% of the world’s wheat exports per week.
However, the conflict likely won’t change U.S. access to the Russian pet food market. The Russian market was already unavailable to U.S. pet food exporters.
“U.S. pet food makers currently don’t have market access to Russia after the country’s decision to ban animal food imports from many countries in late 2020, and it is not expected for that market to reopen in the foreseeable future,” Flores said. “PFI looks forward to re-visiting when it is appropriate, and working closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to promote market access for U.S. pet food.”