ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailMenu BurgerPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon SearchSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Trade war

China cancels big US pork orders after tariff hike

3,200-ton reversal is largest in a year and a blow to American farmers

Pork for sale is seen at a market in Beijing. The U.S. farm sector has been among the hardest hit by the U.S.-China trade war.   © Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) -- The same week U.S. President Donald Trump announced sweeping increases on tariffs against Chinese goods, Chinese buyers dropped orders for 3,247 metric tons of U.S. pork -- the biggest cancellation in more than a year, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data released on Thursday.

The cancellation came during the week ended May 9, a blow to the $6.5 billion export market for American pork, vital to the burgeoning U.S. meat industry.

Prior to the trade war, China and Hong Kong combined were the second largest export market for U.S. pork.

For months, the U.S. farm sector -- which has been among the hardest hit by the trade war between the world's two largest economies -- has been banking on China increasing its U.S. pork purchases due to African swine fever (ASF).

But the trade war, and China's tariffs against U.S. pork, is showing signs of slowing China's willingness to load up on the meat, say industry analysts.

Earlier this year, China canceled sales of 53 metric tons in the week ended Feb. 28, sales of 999 metric tons in the week ended March 21, and 214 metric tons in the week ended April 18, according to USDA data.

Market analysts said the cancellation news on Thursday weighed on the lean hog futures market.

"It's just disappointing that this trade war could drag on for months and that means more tariffs on pork," said Dennis Smith, commodity broker with Archer Financial Services. "This should not be happening. We should be selling a lot of pork to China, because of ASF."

African swine fever kills almost all pigs infected, though it is not harmful to people. The disease has spread rapidly across China, the world's top pork producer. In neighboring Vietnam the government said it will mobilize its military and police forces to combat an outbreak.

USDA said on Thursday that it will soon begin testing sick and dead pigs for the hog virus that has killed herds across Asia in an effort to minimize devastation if the disease enters the United States.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends June 30th

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media