Pakistan is plagued by chronic instability, which extends even into the pet segment. In June and July, the average price of pet food in Pakistan virtually doubled. This was due to an import ban imposed by the government on nearly 800 items, including pet food, which are deemed to be luxury goods by government representatives. The alleged aim of the embargo, as reported in a number of online media channels, is to stabilise the country’s economy and its currency exchange rate. “Pets in Pakistan consume around 6 000 to 8 000 tonnes of food annually and the entire segment is experiencing double-digit growth year on year,” reads a statement from the press office of Pakistan’s association of pet food manufacturers. The market is currently dominated by imported pet food, but a trend is perceptible towards products manufactured in the country.
The Pakistan Pet Food Manufacturers Association presently numbers seven companies, six of which have focused on producing dry food for pets. These include Waggles Pet Foods. Its CEO, Rafae Dossal, is quoted as saying that “the Pakistan pet food market has good growth prospects”. He adds that the market is currently growing at around 20 per cent annually, attributing this to rapid urbanisation and the increase in families.
Import versus domestic production
Sector experts estimate that since the start of the year, Pakistan has imported pet food to the value of five to six million dollars. “Although imported pet food is still obtainable in the country, some pet owners can no longer afford it on account of the sharp hike in prices,” continues Rafae Dossal. As a result of the price increase triggered by the import ban, the price of an imported pack of premium dog food has risen by nearly 40 per cent. Many dog owners have stocked up, as it is not clear when the prohibition on imports might be lifted.
The Pakistan Pet Food Manufacturers Association also spoke out against the ban on imports of pet food, as it could damage the entire market. On the other hand, they are confident that the authorities will have to rethink their import policy to support local companies. The association has reported that the ban has already led to many pets being put down in the country, and states that more pets are likely to die if it is not…