With sales to China waning, the growth markets for U.S. pork exports will be Mexico and Latin America, said economist Brett Stuart of Global AgriTrends. Mexico accounted for 22 cents of every $1 in pork exports last year, and eight Latin American nations, often regarded as lesser customers, are set to become major customers for U.S. pork.
Thanks to high demand for American-grown corn, soybeans, and meat, U.S. farm exports will soar to a record $164 billion this year, far above the current mark of $152.3 billion, set in 2014, said the Agriculture Department on Wednesday. China, reclaiming its spot as the No. 1 customer, would account for $1 of every $5 in overseas sales.
The world's most populous country is already its largest meat-importing nation and "looks like it's poised to play a major role in meat markets in the future," said USDA senior economist Fred Gale on Thursday. China's imports of beef, pork, and poultry are projected by the USDA to grow 29 percent in the coming decade.
At least five other nations are moving toward gene editing of hogs, which could put them miles ahead of the United States in producing disease-resistant and faster-growing hogs that cost less to grow, said a group speaking for American hog farmers on Thursday.
While China may not meet the first-year target under the "phase one" trade agreement, it is buying huge amounts of U.S. food, agriculture, and seafood products that could total $31 billion over 12 months, said Iowa State economist Wendong Zhang at a farm conference on Thursday. Neither Zhang nor Ohio State professor Ian Sheldon said they expected the Biden administration to roll back U.S. tariffs on China in the near term.
Exports of U.S.-grown pork and beef are flowing at a higher volume than in 2019, with a sales value of $4.86 billion through April. Strong meat exports are a sign that the United States is a reliable supplier worldwide despite coronavirus disruptions in meatpacking plants, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Thursday. (No paywall)
China can satisfy two objectives — filling a huge gap in its meat supply and complying with the "phase one" trade agreement with the United States — by buying American-grown pork, say two Iowa State University economists.
The “phase one” trade agreement with China assures sales of “up to $50 billion in agriculture alone,” said President Trump at a White House signing ceremony on Wednesday, although Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said sales would depend on domestic demand and U.S. prices. A senior administration official said later that the pact did not require China to remove retaliatory tariffs on U.S. farm goods — a potential barrier to exports.
Farmers can expect a cash injection of billions of dollars in Trump tariff payments later this month or in December, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Thursday. “We hope that trade will supplant the need for aid in 2020,” he said, pointing to progress in negotiations to resolve the Sino-U.S. trade war.
In what may be an opening in the Sino-U.S. trade war, a group of Chinese officials will tour U.S. farms next week, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Thursday.
Leaders of the National Pork Producers Council appealed to China to remove its 60 percent tariff on imports of U.S. pork so it can bring down the soaring price of pork for Chinese consumers.
Hours after complimenting China for waiving tariffs on some U.S. products, President Trump announced on Wednesday a two-week delay, until Oct. 15, of higher tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese-made goods. On social media, Trump called the delay “a gesture of good will.”
U.S. farm exports plunged by an abrupt 6 percent this year due to the Sino-U.S. trade war and a worldwide slowdown in economic growth, but they will rebound mildly in the year ahead, said the USDA on Thursday. However, the agency’s first forecast of exports in fiscal 2020 excluded the impact of a promised mutual escalation this fall of the trade war between China and the United States.
Exporters reported the sale of 10,200 tonnes of U.S. pork to China during the week ending Aug. 8, the same period that China said it was shutting off purchases of American ag exports.
The largest U.S. farm group urged trade negotiators “to write the next chapter” in Sino-U.S. relations this week by eliminating trade war tariffs that are depressing ag exports, an important part of farm income. On Monday, the USDA reported an uptick in soybean exports to China, but there was no sign of large “goodwill” purchases on the eve of negotiations in Shanghai.
When China raised its tariff on U.S. pork in April 2018, it sent producers scrambling to replace the lost export sales. A year later, the scramble paid off, as U.S. producers replaced a big chunk of the lost sales by striking deals with smaller markets, according to an analysis by Reuters.
The World Pork Expo, which draws an international crowd annually to the largest hog-producing state in America, will not be held this June as a precaution against the spread of African swine fever, said its sponsor, the National Pork Producers Council, on Wednesday.
To speed approval of the successor to NAFTA, President Trump should remove tariffs on steel imported from Canada and Mexico, said Senate Finance Committee chairman Chuck Grassley on Monday.