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Tariffs on US pork continue to hamper US and Canadian exports

12 October 2018, at 12:00am

Despite the new North American Trade Agreement, tariffs on US pork remain an issue for US and Canadian pork producers

The successful conclusion of negotiations aimed at creating a new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade have helped restore confidence in the North American hog market resulting in a counter seasonal rebound in live hog prices but retaliatory tariffs on US pork remain in place.

Tyler Fulton, the Director of Risk Management with h@ms Marketing Services, says those tariffs have taken a toll on US pork exports.

Fulton explains:

“The latest pork export sales figures were out early this week for the US and what it showed was that sales to China were down about 21 percent from year-ago-levels. Sales to Mexico were also down – I think about five to six percent. Those are significant numbers.

“Those are two large players in terms of destinations for US pork but, when you also apply the market context, that we were looking at significant price discounts over the course of the month of August you would have thought that would have triggered greater sales volumes to those locations. However, I think the tariffs really did put the brakes on some of those sales and as a result the North American hog and pork prices have taken a hit because of the restrictions that have slowed the sales of US pork.”

Fulton notes, because the Canadian market tends to reference US prices, when US producers are hurt by restrictions on their pork exports, Canadian producers feel a proportionate effect.

He says Canadian pork processors aren't feeling the same pinch so, if this goes on, discussions around getting a more equitable split of the value of pork being produced in Canada may need to happen.

As reported by Bruce Cochrane, Farmscape.Ca