Global and U.S. pet food exports grow 2% in 2021

AFIA data show increases in pet food exports that, though small, occurred despite ongoing supply chain and transportation disruptions worldwide.

Tom Fisk |
Tom Fisk |

Pet food exports increased slightly in 2021, said Gina Tumbarello, senior director of international policy and trade for American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), during its 2022 Pet Food Conference held January 25 at the International Production and Processing Expo in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

At the global level, pet food exports rose 2.4% from 2020 to 2021 (through November, the latest data available to AFIA). U.S. pet food exports increased by an even 2%, according to Tumbarello, continuing a small but steady increase year-over-year since 2017.

That these increases, albeit small, happened despite ongoing supply chain and transportation challenges is encouraging news worth noting for the pet food industry.

Major pet food exporters worldwide

Total global pet food exports reached about 4.78 million metric tons (MMT) through November 2021, the data showed. A significant portion of that came from external trade within and from the European Union. Other countries figuring in the data included the U.S., Thailand, Canada and China.

In terms of the leading pet food exporters, China’s pet food exports increased in 2021, mainly to European markets with a small amount to the U.S., Tumbarello said. Thailand and Russia also exported more pet food in 2021.

As for U.S. exports, they neared 850 MMT through November 2021, according to AFIA’s data. Their top export destination was Canada, though the level decreased slightly from 2020. Tumbarello said U.S. pet food exports increased to the Philippines, China and Costa Rica, among a handful of countries, with a big jump in the level of exports to Mexico. That was partially due to a change in tariff fees, she said, but otherwise, AFIA is not yet sure of the reasons for the large increase.

Growth in pet food export dollars, too?

While Tumbarello did not provide monetary amounts for pet food exports, 2020 data is available from sources including Statista. “Germany was the leading exporter of cat and dog food worldwide in 2020, exporting approximately US$2.17 billion,” wrote Emma Bedford on “Ranked second, the U.S. exported around $US1.72 billion worth of cat and dog food that year.”

If the 2% increase in volume also applies to dollar amounts, that would put U.S. pet food exports through November 2021 at about US$1.75 million. Encouraging news indeed.



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