Increased U. S. pork exports to China aren’t a threat to Canadian pork producers, according to Jacques Pomerleau, the executive director at Canadian Pork International.
“Not at all,” said Pomerleau. “Because it’s a huge market. When we were both having higher volumes it had no impact, one on the other. If it were a small market where you really compete one against the other, maybe.”
China announced late last week the ban for U. S. pork is lifted; all pork produced as of May 1 can be exported from the U. S. to China.
Before the new year, a similar ban was lifted from Canadian pork exports. China had previously banned both Canadian and U. S. pork in mid-2009 over concerns regarding H1N1.
On December 4, 2009, pork producers from Quebec, Alberta, and Manitoba could export their products to China, as the ban was lifted.
“It was a contributing factor,” said Martin Rice, the executive director of the Canadian Pork Council when asked if the ban had any relation to Canada’s export numbers decreasing from 2008 to 2009.
Canada exported 26,381 tonnes to China in 2009 and 35,523 tonnes in 2008 when no ban was present, according to Canadian Pork International.
Rice also said the Japanese and U. S. market for Canadian pork is larger than China, however it is growing significantly.
“The products that they take, particularly organ meat…China is a very important market for them. While the volume isn’t great (compared) to U. S. and Japan, we don’t have many alternative markets for those products,” said Rice.