The US-China Trade War Sparks New Opportunities for Britain's Pork Industry

Britain’s meat industry could reportedly benefit from the escalating trade war between China and the US. Last month, China announced plans to impose a 25% tariff on all American pork in a decision that – according to ABDH – poses a unique opportunity for UK farmers.

128 US imports have been affected by China’s tariffs, including sparkling wine and apples as well as pork. The monumental move was a retaliation against President Trump’s decision to levy foreign steel and aluminium in March. The President is now apparently intending to target more Chinese imports, having declared “trade wars are good.”

While the war spells chaos for China, it could be remarkably beneficial for the EU’s pig sector. The US is the third largest exporter of pig meat to China, meaning the country will inevitably turn to the EU for their pork. AHDB Pork Analyst Rebecca Osbourne summarises; “In 2017, China produced 53.5 million tonnes of pig meat and consumed 55 million tonnes, according to the USDA. With that underlying demand, China may therefore need to source at least some replacement product from the global market, including the EU.”

As trade tensions between the two countries intensify, there may be even further opportunities for Britain’s meat industry. According to experts, China could next target US soybeans in a retaliatory move that would massively impact US farmers. However, this decision would also hinder China’s own meat industry. Loren Puette, director of agricultural research firm ChinaAg, explains the country is “still heavily reliant on US soybeans to feed its pork and poultry industry.” Consequently, if China did go ahead with the soybean tariff, it would again need to look elsewhere to satiate its demand for pork.

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