Retaliatory tariffs continue to hamper US pork exports

By Ashley Williams

- Last updated on GMT

Retaliatory tariffs are continuing to pressure pork export values
Retaliatory tariffs are continuing to pressure pork export values

Related tags Beef Pork

The US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) has revealed the pork industry is still facing “obstacles” from the retaliatory tariffs imposed by China and Mexico, as export values continued to slump during September.

September’s pork export volume fell 2% compared to a year ago to 179,423 metric tonnes (mt), while export value dropped by 7% to US$470.2m.

Pork muscle cut volumes rose slightly by 2% in comparison to last year to 146,542 mt, but their value still declined by 3% to $397.6m.

By contrast, Asian demand for US beef continued to grow during September as exports totalled 110,160 mt, up 6% from a year ago, and its value climbed by 11% to $687.1m.

According to USMEF, markets including South Korea and Japan were among the main destinations for US beef.

Export volumes to South Korea during September were up 22% from a year ago, with value growing by 29% to $143.1m. Japan’s September beef exports were up 4% from a year ago, both in volume by 28,086 mt and value by $172.3m.

In light of retaliatory tariffs, US pork performed well in other markets, including South Korea.

September pork exports to South Korea increased 33% from a year ago in volume to 12,486 mt and 30% in value to $33.6m, while pork exports to South America continued to gain momentum, led by strong growth in Colombia, Peru and a rebound of exports to Chile.

Central American countries, such as Panama and Costa Rica, also experienced high demand for US pork.

USMEF’s president Dan Halstrom remained optimistic for pork, despite retaliatory tariffs continuing to compress export values, but expected beef to continue to soar.

With a full quarter still to be reported, beef export value records are already being surpassed in some markets and global value is on track for $8 billion by year’s end​,” said Halstrom. “Pork exports have also held up relatively well, but unfortunately the obstacles US pork faces in China and Mexico are putting a lot of pressure on export value​.”

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