African pet food market: Net importer, few exports

The continent of Africa is projected to increase its pet food market by only 3% through 2027, but is led by a strong South African pet food market.

South African Boerboel dogs (Jacques Jacobsz |
South African Boerboel dogs (Jacques Jacobsz |

Despite boasting a population of 1.2 billion, the continent of Africa has seen limited growth in terms of its pet food market. Businesswire, in its latest report on pet food in Africa, noted the continent could expect a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3% for the 2022-2027 period, which is far lower than projections for other regions in similar reports. The report further emphasized that three countries in Africa will hold 70% of the continent’s market share: South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria.  

Africa is a net importer of pet food

A look at the continent’s trade statistics reveals that few countries in Africa are active in the pet food sphere. The continent remains a net importer of pet food, with few exporting options. In the 10-year period between 2012 and 2021, imports across all of Africa rose from US$101.6 million to US$200.2 million, a 97% increase.

The lion’s share of those imports comes from South Africa. In 2012, South Africa accounted for 46.1% (US$49.8 million) of all pet food imports, but that number did fall to 31.5% (US$63.1 million) by 2021, as other countries have increased their pet food import demand.  

Behind South Africa, Morocco has seen stellar growth in its imports of pet food over the past decade, rising from 4.4% (US$4.4 million) of the imports market share in 2012 to 17.3% (US$34.8 million) in 2021. In third place is Egypt, which has gone from 5.5% (US$5.6 million) in 2012 to 7.8% (US$ 15.7 million) in the pet food imports market share.

Combined, these three countries accounted for 56.6% of the total pet food imports market share in Africa. For further reference, in 2021 the top five importing countries in Africa, also including Namibia and Angola, comprised 65.9% of the continent’s pet food imports market share.

South Africa only net exporter of pet food in Africa 

On the export side, only South Africa stands out, with 94.4% of the pet food exports market share in Africa. South Africa has seen its pet food exports rise by 108.8% from 2012 (US$30.6 million) to 2021 (US$ 63.9 million). Primarily, South African pet food exports head to India, Namibia and Malaysia, which account for 54.5% of the South African exports market share.  

The highly developed pet food market of South Africa was worth US$500.6 million in 2021, with a five-year CAGR of 3.6%, per Research Markets.

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