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U.S. pork exports gain in China after trade deal

JBS SA shipments to region have increased 370% in 2020 compared to same period in 2017.

U.S. pork exports are benefitting from the Phase One trade deal made with China, according to an analysis by Christopher Rogers, senior researcher at Panjiva -- a business line of S&P Global Market Intelligence, which is a division of S&P Global Inc. As of Sept. 10, total sales of pork to China from the U.S. reached 510,400 tons, compared to 55,791 tons in the whole of 2020.

Increased sales were expected through the remainder of the year, but now, sales of pork exports will likely see an even greater boost given the fact that China has blocked imports of pork products from Germany due to African swine fever. According to the U.S. Meat Export Federation, German pork shipped to non-European Union markets had accounted for about 9% of global pork exports in 2020, with much of this total – nearly 50,000 metric tons per month – going to China.

Rogers said export sales from the U.S. to China signed the week of Sept. 10 were equivalent to 72.1% of all shipments in 2017 alone.

Much of the growth in exports versus 2017 has been dominated by JBS SA, Rogers relayed. Panjiva's U.S. seaborne export data show that the company's shipments year to date in 2020 through Aug. 31 may have increased 370% compared to the same period in 2017. Shipments linked to WH Group Ltd. also rose sharply, up 90.1% versus 2017. While Tyson Foods Inc. has experienced a marked pickup compared to a year earlier, Rogers said the company has shipped 7.3% less year to date than the same period of 2017.

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