Nepal logs higher pet food export and import numbers

Recent government report and market data show Nepal's pet food industry experiencing an uptrend.

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Nepal's pet food industry is experiencing an uptrend in both its import and export numbers, recent government report and industry market data show.

Its Department of Customs said they recorded Rs 2.26 billion (Nepalese Rupee) or about US$19.6 million worth of pet food exports in the first nine months of the current fiscal year (from July 2022 to April 2023). It made for some Rs 300 million in profits, coming from Rs 1.97 billion pet food exports for the same period last year.

In the latest fiscal year, the US imported Rs 1.95 billion of pet food from Nepal, up from the Rs 1.63 billion it made a year prior. The customs agency said Nepal exports its pet food to 25 countries, with the biggest orders typically coming from the US, Canada, Japan, UK, Netherlands, UAE, Hong Kong and Singapore.

ReportLinker, a French market intelligence company, also has a rosy outlook for Nepal up to 2026 when it is expected to reach 401,000 kilograms of pet food imports, or 70,000 kilograms more from 2021. ReportLinker said this would represent an annual growth of 3.2%, on average, since 2014. It would also be worth at least US$605 million, slowly increasing to US$607 million by 2027.

On the other hand, ReportLinker estimates that Nepal's pet food exports would reach 721,530 kilograms by 2026 from 579,770 kilograms in 2021, which means an 11.7% increase per year. This near-future outlook has singled out France, U.S. and Thailand as possibly the biggest destinations for Nepalese-made pet food when the time comes.

But there is still room for improvement in Nepal's pet food industry, which came in at a far 123 and 61 in the global ranking of pet food importers and exporters, respectively, in 2021.

The chhurpi, an original Nepalese hard cheese treat for dogs made from the milk of large farm animals such as yak or buffalo, could help bring in more export income as pet-loving Western and Asian countries become more familiar with it. With adequate government assistance, chhurpi exporters hope to break through a wider U.S. and EU pet food markets this year.

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