China today gave official notice that it is accepting shipments of U.S. pork, a move that should prove a boon to the U.S. pork industry. Pork produced on or after May 1 now can be exported to China.
The Asian nation closed its market to U.S. pork in late April 2009 in the wake of an outbreak in humans of novel H1N1 influenza, which the media misnamed “swine” flu. While in March it agreed to reopen its market to U.S. pork imports, China took until now to begin accepting product.
The U.S. pork industry exported nearly 400,000 metric tons of pork worth nearly $690 million to China/Hong Kong in 2008, making it the No. 3 destination for U.S. pork. Last year, U.S. pork exports to China/Hong Kong were down by 38 percent, falling to just under $427 million.