The approval follows US Department of Agriculture talks with its Paraguay counterparts on the export certificate, which will allow the shipment of US fresh, frozen, processed and thermally processed/commercially sterile pork and pork products.
The decision was welcomed by the US National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).
NPPC president Jim Heimerl said: “Paraguay won’t be a huge market for US pork, but given the current trade climate, the US pork industry needs all the new markets it can get.”
The NPPC believes the US could grow its pork exports to the country’s nearly 6.9 million people, who have a per capita income greater than, for example, the Philippines and Vietnam, two large pork-consuming nations.
“The US pork industry is very dependent on exports,” said Heimerl. “Last year, we exported nearly 27% of our total production, and those exports added more than $53m – representing almost 36% of the $149 average value of a hog in 2017 – to the price we received for each animal marketed.
“The United States cannot sit on its hands when it comes to trade and watch its export markets erode. Opening new markets, even small ones like Paraguay, and expanding existing markets is imperative.”
According to the US Meat Export Federation, Paraguay imported 2,511 metric tons (mt) of beef, valued at $6.5 million (m), mainly from Brazil, but some product was also imported from Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. Pork imports totalled 1,287mt, valued at $3.7m. Most pork imports also came from Brazil, but small volumes were imported from other suppliers, including Argentina and Spain.