US Pork Exports to Mexico on Increase

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID McCOY

INCREASED exports of lightweight hogs to Mexico could cause total US live hog exports to rise by an average of $100 million (pounds 60 million) per year, according to Iowa State economist Dermot Hayes.

The projected increase in US live hog exports is due to the termination last month of the anti-dumping duty order in Mexico on US lightweight hog exports.

"Opening the market in Mexico is a big win for US pork producers," said National Pork Producers' Council president, Jon Caspers, a pork producer from Swaledale, Iowa.

"Most of these lightweights sell at a significant discount in the United States but in Mexico we can sell them at a premium."

According to Mr Hayes, in the late 1990s pork industry participants in both the US and Mexico realized the potential for the sale of lightweight US hogs to Mexico because of the growing disparity in slaughter weights between the two countries. While in the United States, the average slaughter weight of a hog is 250lb, in Mexico the average slaughter weight is about 200lb, Mr Hayes pointed out.

Mr Caspers added that, when US lightweight hogs began to flow into Mexico in the late 1990s, Mexico responded by initiating an anti-dumping case. "Since late 1999 large antidumping duties have shut US producers out of this market," he said.

"NPPC has worked closely with the US Government in fighting the anti- dumping order," Mr Caspers said. "We persuaded the United States Trade Representative's Office to hold consultations with Mexico in September of 2000. As a result of those consultations, Mexico agreed to drop its de facto ban on heavyweight live hog imports from the US and to conduct a Changed Circumstances Review of the anti-dumping duty order on lightweight hogs."

The findings of that Changed Circumstances Review resulted in the termination of the anti-dumping duty order on May 26. …