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US pig business can now export to Paraguay

The US pig industry has found another market to export its pork to: Paraguay.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in February concluded several months of talks with its Paraguay counterparts on the export certificate, which will allow the shipment of US fresh, frozen, processed and thermally processed/commercially sterile pork and pork products.

Paraguay also agreed to accept imports of US beef and natural casings, along with poultry, eggs, live animals and genetics.

Potential for US pork exports

While the South American country is a modest consumer of pork, there is potential for US pork export growth to its nearly 6.9 million people, who have a per capita income greater than, for example, the Philippines and Vietnam.

US pork can soon be found in Paraguayan shops. Photo: Paul Dijkstra
US pork can soon be found in Paraguayan shops. Photo: Paul Dijkstra

The US National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) welcomed the news of the new export certificate. President Jim Heimerl said in a press release: “Paraguay won’t be a huge market for US pork, but given the current trade climate, the US pork industry needs all the new markets it can get. This is welcome news for America’s pork producers.”

Pork business very dependent on exports

“The US pork industry is very dependent on exports,” said Mr Heimerl. “Last year, we exported nearly 27% of our total production, and those exports added more than $ 53 – representing almost 36% of the $ 49 average value of a hog in 2017 – to the price we received for each animal marketed.”

Mr Heimerl continued to say, “The United States can’t sit on its hands when it comes to trade and watch its export markets erode. Opening new markets, even small ones like Paraguay, and expanding existing markets is imperative.”

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