US pork exports to the Philippines have risen sharply this year following the country’s decision to temporarily increase its import quota and reduce tariffs, and the National Pork Producers Council believes that improving trading conditions could extend until 2022.

Needing more imported pork as the country battled African swine fever, the Philippines increased its minimum access volume – essentially a tariff rate quota – for pork and lowered in-quota tariffs in May. The expanded quota of 254,000 metric tonnes and the reduced tariff rate of 15% are expected to drop to just 54,000 tonnes and 30%, respectively, on January 31, but the NPPC says the Philippine government is showing signs that this may not happen. produce.

Instead, the NPPC hears rumors that the Philippines may extend quota expansion and tariff reduction until 2022.

The stakes are high for the American pork industry, which is heavily dependent on exports.

Sales of U.S. pork to the Philippines have grown rapidly this year in the space of several months, more than doubling from last year, according to data on file with the NPPC. The United States exported $ 194 million worth of pork to the Philippines in the first 10 months of 2021, an increase of 107% from the same period in 2020.

“Securing better market access to the Philippines, a major pork-consuming country, has been a long-term trade priority for the NPPC, which continues to work with the government in Manila and with the office of the US Trade Representative and the Department. American. of Agriculture to make the tariff cuts permanent, ”the group said.

Meanwhile, in China, Beijing is preparing to increase its base tariff on frozen pork. China had reduced the WTO-sanctioned “most-favored-nation” tariff from 12% to 8% as it continued to rebuild its pig herd, but that level is expected to return to a higher level on January 1, according to the NPPC.

China also continues to levy a separate 25% tariff on US pork in retaliation for US tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum, which the NPPC says it continues to oppose.

Overall U.S. pork exports to China and Hong Kong in the first 10 months of 2021 are down 24% from the same period in 2020, according to data from the US Meat Export Federation.

But even as China’s overall demand for pork imports is declining, the country remains a significant importer, according to the USMEF.

“Although China’s demand for pork muscle cuts has weakened considerably, it remains a key and value-added destination for US pork.” according to a recent USMEF analysis. “Until October, pork exports to the China / Hong Kong region were 22% higher than last year’s significant totals at 284,568 (tonnes) and soared 27% in value to 685.9 millions of dollars.”

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