LINCOLN, NEB. – “China announced it will levy a tariff of 25 percent on U.S. pork and pork products in retaliation to the U.S. imposing tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. China’s response is what we had feared all along and we are extremely concerned about this turn of events.”
“These tariffs will impact Nebraska’s already hurting agriculture economy. Nebraska Farm Bureau recently released a trade report called ‘Nebraska Agriculture & International Trade,’ and it showed Platte and Holt Counties were the most reliant on exports of pork, with each county receiving more than $20 million in value from pork exports. Several other counties in Northeast and North Central Nebraska derive more than $10 million in value from pork exports and would also be sensitive to any export slowdown related to the Chinese tariffs. Also, with pork processing facilities in Fremont, Crete, and Madison, these communities could feel the effects too.”
“These Chinese tariffs could be a damper on pork prices, slowing an already struggling agriculture economy in Nebraska and the U.S. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of trade and how concerning this latest action by China is for Nebraska farmers and ranchers.”
U.S. and Nebraska Numbers on Trade
What are the potential effects to the U.S. and Nebraska from the Chinese tariff on pork?
- The National Pork Producers Council has said that the U.S. exported $1.1 billion in pork to China last year.
- According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Ag Service, Nebraska exported $479 million in pork, of which $29 million, or 6 percent, went to China and Hong Kong.
- The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS) recently released its Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report. The report showed the overall U.S. hogs and pigs count as of March 1 was 3.1 percent greater than last year. The March 1 market hog number reached 66.7 million head, the largest ever recorded. In other words, U.S. supplies of pork are growing, and growth in exports is needed to help absorb the growing supplies. The Chinese tariff will make the needed growth more difficult to attain and could be a damper on pork prices. Today, the June lean hog futures contracts were off nearly 4 percent with the news from China.