China Off Tyson's Export Hit List

US - Tyson's Chinese trade links are not as have been reported. The Arkansas-based meat giant is not poised to sell product into China and prospects for the near future are unlikely.
calendar icon 1 February 2008
clock icon 2 minute read
Speaking in an interview with Reuters News Agency yesterday, Tyson's Chief Executive Richard Bond clarified remarks made during a conference call earlier in the week. Reports have suggested that the company was about to launch a crusade on China and supply much needed pigmeat to its crisis-sticken market.

However, Bond said that currently the economics do not make it feasible. While the Red State does offer "tremendous opportunity" for US pork sales, China is unwilling to pay enough for ractopamine-free pork. This renders the market uncompetitive for Tyson as the feed additive is commonly used in the United States to increase the hog's lean meat production.

"It costs more for the producer to produce ractopamine-free pork. He wants to be compensated for that. But the pork that China is interested in buying and the prices that it is interested in buying that pork for don't match up," said Bond.

He also confirmed that Tyson had talked to COFCO, China’s largest oils and food importer, but maintained a deal is not in sight.

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