Due to export volume already exceeding 130% of the tariff rate quota (TRQ) included in the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement, higher tariff rates on U.S. pork were applied April 1 and will remain in effect through the end of this year.
Trips to Washington DC with the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and its Pork Leadership Institute (PLI) always offer enlightenment on current issues mixed with a comradery not seen in all industries. This spring’s trip was no exception.
Pork producers are relishing rising pork prices, with lean hog futures skyrocketing since March. Much of that momentum is from China coming back to the market to buy U.S. pork. That's as products like hams still face major headwinds from tariffs.
Pork export volume was down 9% from a year ago in February to 186,745 metric tons (mt), while export value dropped 17% to $455.9 million — the lowest monthly value total since February 2016. For January through February, pork exports were 5% below last year’s pace in volume (388,580 mt) and 13% lower in value ($950 million).
The U.S. is well positioned to help fill any additional need that China has for pork, said Joe Schuele, U.S. Meat Export Federation, “but we’d be in a lot better position if we weren’t facing a tariff that’s five times higher than everybody else.”