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WPX Report: US Boom in Pig Meat Exports Needs Protecting

by 5m Editor
6 June 2008, at 6:00pm

US - The US pig meat export trade is going from strength to strength and every effort has to be made to ensure then momentum is maintained.

Chris Harris, Senior Editor,
ThePigSite.com reports from World Pork Expo, Iowa.

This was the message from Nick Giordano, the International Trade Counsel for the National Pork Producers Council, writes Chris Harris, senior editor for ThePigSite at World Pork Expo in Des Moines Iowa.

Much of the success of in the rise in exports has been the continued growth in free trade agreements with countries around the world.

US pig meat exports are now worth $3.15 billion and have already risen by 41 per cent in the first quarter of the year, NPPC president Bryan Black said the World Pork Expo.

Among the high rises have been a 330 per cent rise in exports to China and 164 per cent rise in exports to Russia.

Other significant rises were seen to Canada, Japan, Mexico, where trade has started to bounce back and the Dominican Republic.

Mr Giodano said that much of this success can be put down to trade agreements such as those with Columbia, Panama.

He said it also started with the agreement between the US and Canada and then the provisions in the Uruguay Round of the World Trade Organisation agreement. This was followed by bi-lateral agreements with China and Taiwan and in 2004 with Russia.

"All these factors allow our exports to go up," said Mr Giordano.

"And in the long term with people moving to meat based diets there is every reason for exports to continue going up."

He added that in the short term the weakness of the dollar is also helping to boost exports.

"At the moment our cost of production is lower than the Brazilians," he said.

One key trade agreement that is in the balance at the moment is with Korea and Mr Giordano said that until the uncertainty over the restart of beef exports to South Korea is resolved, the potential for a trade agreement is in the balance.

He added that when it does come about is will be highly significant for the US pork sector.

However, the only problem that is faced from this expanding pig export market is the availability of containers to ship the meat abroad.

Already there is a shortage of containers for exports and any expansion is going to put further pressure on the shipping market.