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Mexico Key to Expanding US Pork Exports

25 August 2017, at 6:00a.m.

US - The director of Risk Management with h@ms Marketing Services says hog markets are optimistic that the renegotiation of NAFTA will end positively but will be ready to react if things go badly, Bruce Cochrane reports.

The first round of negotiations aimed at revamping the North American Free Trade Agreement wrapped up Sunday and rounds two and three are planned for September.

Tyler Fulton, the Director of Risk Management with h@ms Marketing Services, says we haven't seen any direct impact on hog markets but traders are watching the renegotiation closely.

Tyler Fulton-h@ms Marketing Services

No doubt it's a major factor that is on the minds of traders.

One of the things that's kind of increasing its profile, particularly on hog markets, is the increasing reliance that the US has on Mexico as a trading partner.

In fact the United States relies on Mexico in terms of pork exports more than any other country and Mexico has really been the driver behind export growth.

We've seen about a 30 per cent increase recently over last year's levels of exports of pork to Mexico and a decreasing volume of pork going to nations like Japan and China.

China in particular is down sharply and so the importance of that Mexican market is critical and so it's going to mean a lot to the US and for that matter the Canadian hog industries to ensure that we're able to get a deal at least as good or better on the ag side of things when this new NAFTA round is done.

Mr Fulton says right now the trade is building in the benefit of the doubt in that they haven't worked in much uncertainty related to a failure in negotiations.

However, he says, if there's some news that comes out over the next few rounds that there is a concern that NAFTA as we know it will be at risk then that would work very quickly into the 2018 futures months.