A shipment of German pork arrived in Mexico this week through efforts to diversify foreign trade.
It was the first shipment to arrive since tariffs were imposed on United States pork imports, the federal Agricultural Secretariat (Sagarpa) said yesterday.
The department said in a statement that 25.5 tonnes of frozen pork belly had arrived at the port of Veracruz, a result of its “market diversification policy” that aims to “guarantee the supply of a range of products at accessible prices.”
Mexico introduced a range of retaliatory measures against the United States’ metal tariffs on June 5, including 20% duties on U.S. pork, apples and potatoes.
The Sagarpa statement said the agriculture sanitation authority Senasica has already established sanitation protocols with other countries that allow them to supply agricultural products to the Mexican market.
Pork imports from Canada, Denmark, Spain, France, Chile, Italy, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand and Germany comply with the established sanitation rules.
The German pork was packed in 1,394 individual boxes and came from a Senasica-certified plant in Wiedenbrück, Sagarpa said, adding that it was the result of action taken by Senasica chief Enrique Sánchez Cruz during a meeting with Germany’s agriculture minister in Berlin.
Mexicans consume 2.11 million tonnes of pork annually and produces 1.45 million tonnes, of which 105,000 tonnes are exported. Imports account for the 754,000-tonne shortfall.
One-third of all pork consumed in Mexico comes from the United States and between 2010 and 2017 it supplied almost 90% of all imports. Government data shows that U.S. pork exports to Mexico were worth more than US $1 billion last year.
Jim Heimerl, president of the U.S. National Pork Producers Council, said earlier this month that Mexico’s 20% tariff on tariff on pork legs and shoulders eliminates his country’s ability to compete in the Mexican market.
With regard to apples, also subject to a new tariff, Sagarpa said importers of the fruit could look to countries including Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Portugal and South Africa in order to maintain accessible costs for consumers.
Even before the United States imposed its 25% and 10% tariffs on Mexican steel and aluminum imports, Mexico was seeking to diversify its export markets due to uncertainty about the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Mexico and the European Union (EU) reached an updated trade agreement in April while Mexico and 10 other Pacific Rim countries formally entered into a revised Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact in March.
Last week officials told the news agency Reuters that Mexico is also considering imposing tariffs on United States corn and soybean imports in case trade tensions with its northern neighbor should increase.
Source: El Economista (sp)