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American Pork Offsets Export Loss Due To Trade War By Focusing On Smaller Countries

American Pork Offsets Export Loss Due To Trade War By Focusing On Smaller Countries
Since the initiation of the trade war by US president Donald Trump last year with China and Mexico, hundreds of millions of dollars in export sales to these two countries have been lost by American hog according to data from the US Meat Export Federation and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), claimed a report by the news agency Reuters.
However data also showed that the shortfall has also been largely made up by the industry roping in new customers in some of the markets which range from Colombia to Vietnam.
The US pork industry has been able to create a separate niche for itself because it has been able to offset its sharp sale decline in exports unlike some other American farming sectors such as soybeans and sorghum which have also been faced with tariffs.
According to data compiled by the US Meat Export Federation, there was a drop of 3.9 per cent in the export of US pork by volume on the overall between May 2018 and April 2019 year on year. Last April, tariff on US pork was increased by China while tariffs on soybeans were imposed in July 2018.
In comparison to American pork, there was a drop of 13.7 per cent drop by volume for the total US soybean exports year on year in the same period, according to the USDA. On the other hand, a 72.8 per cent drop by volume and 73.6 per cent by value year on year in total export of sorghum was noted for the same period.
According to the Reuters report, the increased exports in the smaller markets has “been a savior for the pork industry,” said Iowa hog farmer Dean Meyer.
The success of the American pork industry has not been because of recent efforts. The industry has been striving to create and implement a global marketing strategy for US pork for more than a decade ago. This was based on the rising demand for protein in the smaller markets because of increase of income in the developing and emerging markets. American pork exporters paid several visits to importers and grocery stores in emerging nations and informed them details about how they produce pork in the US. the exports also tried to impress the high quality of American beef to chefs and bloggers all across the world.
Such efforts paid off after export orders fell from China and Mexico last year but there was a significant increase in imports of the same protein - particularly by smaller economies such as Colombia and South Korea that had pre-existing trade deals with the US.
The importance of the development of a diverse customer base to protect an industry from business upheavals because of trade disruptions with major importers is highlighted by the success of the American pork industry to quickly manage drop in import demand from Mexico and China by activating demand from smaller economies.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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