US Dog and Cat Food Imports: Which Countries Pet Food Comes From
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US Dog and Cat Food Imports: Which Countries Pet Food Comes From

In 2009 almost half of all pet food imported into the United States came from China. Find out which countries cat and dog food are imported from.

Dog and cat food is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States. There are many companies that manufacture cat and dog food from ingredients that include meat products, grains and oilseed mill products. In 2009 the revenue for dog and cat food manufacturing in the US was around $16.2 billion and the industry exported about $1.1 billion to 111 countries worldwide.

The US also imports dog food and cat food, and in 2009 the value of imports was valued at $407 million (up from $367 million in 2008) from 26 different countries. This large rise in imports was despite quality problems and product recalls that have occurred in the past with imported pet food, particularly from China. In general cat and dog food is imported into America duty free. This article looks at dog and cat food imports in 2008, 2009 and the first six months of 2010.

Main Suppliers of Imported Dog Food and Cat Food

In 2009 dog and cat food was imported into the United States from 26 different countries. Below are the top ten countries which combined represent over 99% of all imports, or $404 million of the $407 million. Figures are also shown for 2008 and for the first six months (January to June) of 2010 so that trends can be observed. The data was extracted from the United States International Trade Commission’s Interactive Tariff and Trade DataWeb using HTS code 23091000, dog or cat food for retail sale.

The table above shows that between 2008 and 2009 the amount of dog and cat food imported from these ten countries increased for all countries except Thailand, Australia and Brazil which showed declines. China dominated the import market, providing nearly half of the imports while Canada provided a little over a quarter. Together the top three importers of China, Canada and Thailand account for around 95% of all dog and cat food imported into America, although Thailand’s share seems to be slowly declining.

Fastest Growing Imports of Cat Food and Dog Food by Country

In 2008 there were no pet food imports from Cambodia but in 2009 imports were valued at $512,000 while in the first six months of 2010 they have already reached $1,785,000 to capture a much bigger percentage of the market. The table below shows the growth in dollar value of dog and cat food imports between 2008 and 2009 as a percentage.

The table above shows that in percentage terms the biggest increases in imported dog and cat food sales were reported by the developing nations of Cambodia and Taiwan. In the first six months of 2010 these countries have already both imported more than they did for the whole of 2009 showing they are going to record an increase for 2010 also.

China’s increase of 21% represents an additional $34.3 million in imports of dog and cat food between 2008 and 2009 and 2010 figures to date show it will continue to dominate imports. In the first half of 2010 the total imports have been $238.3 which represents a 14.4% increase over the $208.3 million recorded for the first half of 2010. This suggests total US imports of cat and dog food may be around $465 million for 2010.

Pet Owners Should Take Note of Where Dog and Cat Food Comes From

When purchasing pet food owners should take note of the country of origin and determine for themselves whether cheaper brands are worthwhile. Not all countries have the same food standards as the US and if you are purchasing overseas sourced pet food keep yourself informed about product recalls as during 2007 many pets died of renal failure from contaminants in pet food manufactured in China.

Some of the overseas brands are very good quality and represent excellent value but for those who treat their pet as a valued family member it is worth spending a few minutes searching the internet to make sure they are not about to give a pet something that could be damaging to their health. This is particularly important for those wanting only natural cat food or natural dog food and who want to buy the best dog food available.

Image credit: Tom Peck at flickr


USITC Interactive Tariff and Trade Database

Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States

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