WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Based on the data released by Reuters, US pork exports to China have surged to up to four times versus last year’s data, even shortages of meat supply are already experienced in the US.
- Smithfield Foods, US’ largest meat exporter to China, had sent out at least 13,680 tons of pork in March.
- President Donald Trump instructed meat companies to keep their plant operations last month amid growing concerns over scarcity of meat products.
A new report shows that American meat producers continue to export massive loads of pork to China even as the country’s meat supply comes to shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, producers exported 17,471 tons of pork to China in the week ending April 30 — almost four times of last year’s same-period exports of only 3,879 tons —despite slaughterhouses and processing plants were closed due to coronavirus.
In the first three months of the year, Smithfield Foods from Virginia recorded the United States’ largest export to China, sending out at least 13,680 tons by sea in March based on Reuters’ data. Last month, the company, owned by Hongkong-based WH Group, warned that there would be scarcity of meat supply in the US.
President Donald Trump instructed meat companies to continue their plant operations last month in light of supply shortage concerns. However, those who have reopened only operate at less than half capacity based on the report by the New York Post on Sunday.
According to Reuters, Smithfield is revamping its plant in Virginia to produce more pork for Americans after last year’s re-configuration to process pigs for China. Colorado-based processor JBS told Reuters it minimized meat exportation to catch up with the US’ current demand in light of the outbreak.
Since August 2018, US pork exports to China have been increasing as many pigs in China died from African Swine Fever according to Reuters. China also pledged to upgrade its US farm goods procurement by at least $12.5 billion this year per the January trade deal between the two countries.
Source: New York Post