Pet Food, Seaweed Production and the World Economy

I thought this article on the price of seaweed in the Philippines was interesting (thing-I’ve-never-said-before alert!):

The price increased from from $3 per kilo to $12 per kilo for pet food carrageenan, $5 per kilo to $15 per kilo for food grade carrageenan and $8 per kilo to $24 per kilo for refined carrageenan.


Dakay projected a decline in the demand for processed seaweed or carrageenan due to the slowdown in the economy of major markets such as the US, Europe and Russia. 

He said the biggest drop was in the pet food market, which use an average of 50,000 tons of raw seaweed each year. 

The local processors have not received any orders for pet food carrageenan since October, Dakay disclosed. He noted that the pet owners have stopped buying wet pet food, which uses carrageenan, and have shifted to dry pet food. 

Dakay said this trend would spell bad news for the industry since, in the past, the pet food market alone required 50,000 metric tons of raw materials.

Apparently pet owners around the world have put the brakes on canned food and gone for kibble instead.  This is bad news for cats, since they really should not be fed dry food.

Good quality canned dog food is generally superior to kibble (it contains less grain for one thing) and I know many dogs will choose canned over dry if given a choice.  On the other hand, if feeding a pet kibble during tough economic times makes the difference between keeping the pet or having to surrender him to a shelter, I’m all for it.  And if you want to save even more money while offering better nutrition to your dog, you can add in some healthy table scraps too.  Seaweed optional.

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