14.
08.18
15:06

WH-Group is seeking a way out for US pork in Japan and South Korea

The world's largest pork trading company, the Hong Kong-based WH Group, has recently boosted its exports from the US to Japan, South Korea and Mexico to offset the impact of the US-China trade dispute.
The group, which also includes Smithfield Foods USA, issued a profit warning for the first half of 2018 because there is oversupply of pork in the US and great uncertainty among market participants.
If the trade conflict comes to an end soon, the effects are manageable, if not, then one must plan further adjustments of export flows. In the first six months of the year, exports from the US to South Korea have already risen by 50% and those to China, the largest customer for US pork, have dropped by 20 to 30%.
As early as April, China imposed a fine of 25% on US pork, as the US calculated punitive tariffs for steel and aluminum. Pork was also affected in the second round of penalties on 6 July.
In 2017, US exporters shipped $ 489 million worth of pork to China. The largest share of this year's exports of 117.000 tonnes came in Q1 2018. Whether the trade war or the low pork prices in China are the reason for declining deliveries, is controversial. Pork prices in China may recover slightly this month, but are likely to decline again by the end of the year, experts say.
The WH-Group therefore wants to restrict its pig fattening in China and instead expand the trade in packaged meat. Consumption of pork in China is falling in favor of other meats.
The stock value of WH-Group has fallen 40% since the start of the US trade dispute.

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