Pork Producers Cobbling Together New Customers

U.S. pork farmers have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in sales to China and Mexico thanks to trade disputes. 

Reuters says the pork industry is trying to offset at least some of those losses by piecing together smaller markets like Colombia and Vietnam. That’s according to a Reuters analysis of data from the U.S. Meat Export Federation and USDA. 

American farmers are waiting for the trade dispute between the U.S. and Trump to finally reach a conclusion. The pork industry stands out in avoiding the sharp reductions in sales that have hurt many other farm sectors, including soybeans and sorghum. 

Iowa hog farmer Dean Meyer told Reuters that “the boom in small-market sales has been a savior for the pork industry.” As China and Mexico were reducing their pork purchases last year, a subsequent drop in the price of U.S. pork led to other buyers ramping up their purchases. 

Those purchases were particularly notable from smaller markets that had trade agreements with the U.S., including Colombia and South Korea. The U.S. pork industry had relied on China and Hong Kong for about 20 percent of its exports before the trade war began. 

U.S. exports to Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Australia, Philippines, Vietnam, and South Korea rose 24 percent by volume in the 12 months ending in April when compared to a year earlier.

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