Mexico agrees to resume pork shipments from Smithfield plant in U.S.

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Mexico is allowing a Smithfield Foods’ hog plant in North Carolina, the world’s biggest, to resume shipments of pork products after blocking it two months ago over quality concerns, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Smithfield’s plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina, is allowed again to export pork to Mexico that was produced on or after Aug. 6, the USDA said in a notice on Aug. 9. Meat produced from June 16 to Aug. 5 cannot be shipped, it said.

Mexico stopped accepting shipments from the plant on June 16 over concerns about the quality of pork skins, in a blow to the U.S. hog sector.

Smithfield, owned by Hong Kong-listed WH Group, has said the issue was not related to Smithfield or its facility, but was due to a third-party company.

Between April and June 16, Mexican inspectors at the U.S.-Mexico border rejected three pork skin cargoes from the Tar Heel facility as well as another shipper, Rava Forwarding, Mexico’s health safety agency told Reuters in June.

Mexico halted shipments from a Rava Forwarding cold storage facility in Laredo, Texas, on June 18. The company is now eligible to ship meat with export certificates issued on or after Aug. 6, according to the USDA.

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