Germany said any escalation of U.S. tariffs on metal imports into a full-blown trade war could cause tangible damage to the global recovery, although the tariffs themselves should have only a limited effect.
The U.S. will shield a list of allies including Europe, Australia, South Korea, Argentina and Brazil from steel and aluminum tariffs that take effect on Friday, according to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
China's ban on imports from Germany, its third largest supplier, comes as the world's top meat buyer faces a pork shortage of its own caused by a massive decline in hog numbers due to African swine fever.
Germany's swine herd numbers are reaching near 20-year lows, resulting in a decline in pig feed demand. This causes challenges for the U.S. as it’s currently the top exporter of commodity soybeans to Germany.
Brazil’s JBS SA, the world’s largest meatpacking company, said on Tuesday that rising prices for grain, the key raw material for feed, don’t show any hint of cooling off, forcing it to cut other costs.
An outbreak of classical swine fever (hog cholera) has been reported in a remote region of Brazil on Oct. 6. The Brazil agricultural ministry says the discovery will have no impact on hog health or pork exports.