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Zhejiang pet food business looking at going abroad | Updated: 2014-12-12 14:48

Pingyang county, in Zhejiang province, has seen some amazing growth in its pet food industry in recent years, with exports worth more than $166.85 million, in 2013, for a 8.97-percent growth year-on-year.

The county, which is near the city of Wenzhou, got started in the business in the early 1990s after already having gained fame as "China's Leather City" thanks to its hide processing. By now, its pet food products have had a good reception in the US, EU, Australia, South Korea, Japan and at least two dozen others.

Its pet chew-toy alone brought in 2 billion yuan ($324 million) in 2013, and its exports accounted for about 63 percent of this type of product nationwide. Its businesses began using pork skin or cattle hides for high-protein pet food to reach global markets, according to Zhou Qinglin, president of the Pingyang Pet Food Association, who explains that the pet food industry has a more than 20 year history and is a characteristic county business.

Zhou Yunlong, the GM at Wenzhou Maoquan Pet Products Co, boasted of their business by saying that it had a gross output of 80 million yuan after a market expansion, compared to a mere 800,000 yuan when it began in 1996.

Pingyang has 21 pet food enterprises, 14 of them in the pet chew-toy business, with a total output value of 2 billion yuan, according to Su Eryong, secretary general of the Pet Food Association. And it was one of the first to get export-base designation from the provincial Commerce Dept and Finance Dept at the end of 2010.

Zhou says he believes the industry is promising because of the great interest in pets in China's aging society.

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