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Philippine government opens market access for pork imports

IARN — The Philippine government has announced it will provide more market access for pork imports, which is good news for U.S. pork producers.

Securing better access to the Philippine market has been a top, long-term trade priority for the National Pork Producers Council as well as the U.S. Meat Export Federation. USMEF’s Joe Schuele says this latest announcement is an effort to combat rising pork prices and stabilize supplies.

“The Philippines, like some other Asian countries, has struggled over the past year and a half with African Swine Fever,” Schuele said. “It’s taken quite a toll on its domestic pork production. The Philippines has always been a fairly large importer of pork but was largely self-sufficient. It has a pretty substantial pork industry of its own. With African Swine Fever, their production has really been impacted. The estimates are that their production was down about 30 percent in 2020.”

Under the country’s announcement, tariffs for imported pork under the increased minimum access volume (MAV) of 404,210 metric tons (MT) would be reduced from 30 percent to five percent for the next three months, and then 10 percent thereafter. Tariffs for imported pork above the MAV would be reduced from 40 percent to 15 percent for the next three months, and then increase to 20 percent thereafter. The reductions would be in effect for one year.

“We were the only major exporter that had an increase in the Philippines,” Schuele said. “Overall, their pork imports were flat. The high tariff rates were one of the reasons for that. It’s very difficult for importers in the Philippines to compete with countries that are looking to import pork that don’t have to pay those high tariffs.”

From January-December 2020, the U.S. exported 49,660 MT of pork worth $121 million to the country. The expanded market access is expected to generate significantly more U.S. pork exports to the country. With a population of 109 million and pork as the preferred protein of choice, pork consumption will continue to increase as the economy grows.

The Asia-Pacific region is the fastest growing economic region of the world with significant opportunities for U.S. pork exports, according to the National Pork Producers Council.

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

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