According to "Short-term outlook for EU agricultural markets in 2018 and 2019", global pork trade could face significant shift in trade flows in the second half of 2018, due to trade tensions and the possible impact of African swine fever (ASF), which is spreading quickly in China, the main world producer and importer, and has affected some EU Member States.
The USA imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from China (in March) and from Mexico and the EU (in June). In retaliation, China raised tariffs on US pork by 25 % in April and an additional 25 % in July, while Mexico has imposed a lower tariff (10 % in June, 20 % since July). According to the USDA, while total US exports grew by 9 % in January-July year-on-year, shipments to China fell significantly (-17 %) and those to Mexico slightly (-1 %). The EU has begun to export frozen pork to Mexico, but volumes are still small. On the other hand, in view of Russia’s ongoing ban on its exports, Brazil directed substantially more to China, where they competed directly with EU pork.
China remained the main destination for EU pork exports, accounting for 35 % in the first seven months of 2018, followed by Japan with 12 %. Shipments to China were relatively stable in that period, at around 110 000 t a month, but fell by 2 % year-on-year. More significant was the drop in exports to Hong Kong (-36 %), although this was offset by increased exports to other destinations, e.g. South Korea (+16 %), the Philippines (+11 %), the USA (+14 %), Ukraine (+34 %) and Vietnam (+33 %). Overall, EU exports grew by 1 %, with a 3 % increase for pigmeat and a 4 % decline for offal. EU pigmeat exports are expected to grow by 2.5 % over the year and decline in 2019 as production contracts.
Wednesday October 4, 2018/ DG Agri/ European Union.