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Rollback of Chinese pork tariffs welcomed by US producers

The National Pork Producers Council says word that China is rolling back retaliatory tariffs on US pork is good news for US pork producers and Chinese consumers.

17 September 2019, at 10:35am

Over the past year the US trade dispute with China has resulted in a build up of Chinese retaliatory tariffs on US pork which hit 60 percent on 1 September on top of the existing 12 percent duty.

Last week, it was reported that China is rolling back its tariffs on US Pork and US soybeans.

Speaking to Farmscape, Jim Monroe, the Senior Director of Communications with the National Pork Producers Council, says the Chinese tariffs have resulted in an estimated loss to American pork producers of eight dollars per hog sold in the US so, if the Chinese media reports are accurate, it's a most welcome development.

"China has been struggling with African swine fever since August of last year," Monroe explains.

"It's decimated their domestic herd, their domestic production has seen serious declines, you're starting to see reports of pork prices for consumers rising significantly and pork is a staple of the Chinese diet.

"China has always been an important export market for US producers, usually in the top five of export markets.

"It's even more important now that they're dealing with African swine fever.

"It represents a historic opportunity to increase exports to China at a time when they really need it and when Chinese consumers really need more supplies.

"We're hopeful that we can compete more effectively for that opportunity and we'll see what happens as we move forward."

Monroe points out the US pork sector is highly export dependant, selling more than 25 percent of its pork production to other countries so every export market is important.

He says the sector has been in expansion mode the past couple of years with new packing capacity coming on line and record production levels and most of the investment to drive this expansion has been based on the promise of exports.