Argentina Approved to Export Pork to China; U.S. Pork Trade Suffers

A cargo ship loads containers for export. ( Farm Journal Media )

In a new deal with China, Argentina will now be able to export pork to the world’s largest consumer of pork from 25 of Argentina’s meat-packing plants.

Despite increasing volatility of its peso currency, Argentina has been pushing to increase agricultural trade with China to help bolster the country’s trade balance, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

The ravaging spread of African swine fever (ASF) in China continues to elevate concerns about a pork shortage.

“We have obtained approval to export pork to China, one of the world’s top consumers [of the meat],” Argentine President Mauricio Macri said on Monday.

Argentina also has been pushing to export higher-margin domestically processed soy meal to China. Last year, Argentine exports to China reached $3.48 billion, more than 86% coming from the agricultural sector. 

Meanwhile, U.S. pork currently faces tariffs of 62% in China, which includes 50% punitive tariffs due to trade disputes between the two countries. 

“With reports of a dramatic reduction in China’s domestic production, China represents an enormous opportunity for U.S. pork producers,” said Jim Monroe, NPPC assistant vice president, communications. “Obviously, the tariffs we face severely limit our ability to compete in this market. That’s why we’ve been calling for an end to trade disputes that are resulting in serious financial harm to our farmers.” 

Japan, U.S. pork’s largest export market, has also formed new trade agreements with the European Union and the nations of the TPP-11 agreement. The U.S. pork market share is seeing erosion in Japan, its largest value export market. 

“It’s time to end trade disputes with China and Mexico, ratify USMCA and quickly complete a trade deal with Japan,” Monroe said.

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