Capital Update – For the Week Ending January 5, 2024

Spread the love

In this week’s National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) Friday recap: Philippines extends lower tariff rates on pork; USDA announces pork purchases for food assistance programs; NPPC meets with Cambodians on food safety and weighs in on Vietnam’s market designation; USDA to host livestock insurance workshops; and 2024 Pork Leadership Institute class named. Take a deeper dive below.

Philippines Extends Lower Tariff Rates on Pork Through 2024

What happened: Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed an executive order extending reduced tariff rates on imported pork for the third consecutive year. The in-quota duty is to remain at 15%, while the out-of-quota rate is 25%.

In May 2021, in response to a shortage of pork caused by African swine fever (ASF), the Philippines lowered its import duties from 30% and 40%, respectively. It also increased the quota amount, known as the minimum access volume (MAV), to 254,210 metric tons (MT), from just 54,210 MT.

Under the lower tariffs and higher MAV, U.S. pork exports to the Philippines increased to a record $205 million in 2021, a nearly 79% hike. But after the increased quota amount expired on Jan. 31, 2022, exports fell that year to just under $135 million, and for 2023, they likely will be about $120 million. Those amounts were significantly higher than they historically have been.

Why it matters: The Philippines is an important Asian market for the U.S. pork industry. With more than 109 million people and a cultural preference for pork, the island nation is a top 10 market for U.S. pork exports. The country’s lower tariffs on pork imports have helped spur significant increases in U.S. pork exports there.

NPPC’s take: NPPC has been working with the U.S. and Philippines governments to expand access for U.S. pork to the Philippines market and help the Asian country deal with ASF.

USDA to Purchase Pork for Food Assistance Programs

What happened: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in late December announced it will make a supplemental purchase of pork for various federal food assistance programs under Section 32 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1935. Section 32 authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to make commodity purchases, entitlement purchases, and disaster assistance — using funds appropriated annually from U.S. customs receipts — as a way to encourage the continued domestic consumption of products by diverting them from the normal channels of trade and commerce. USDA annually buys pork and other commodities for federal food programs, including school breakfast and lunch programs.

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will soon issue solicitations for pork products — expected to be pork loin roasts, hams, and pork patties — through its Web-Based Supply Chain Management (WBSCM) system.

Why it matters: The U.S. pork industry faces a challenging market environment, with losses averaging $30 a pig in 2023 and at times exceeding $40 to $60 per head. USDA AMS’s Section 32 purchase can provide much-needed support to the hog and wholesale pork markets and secure affordable, nutritious pork products for USDA recipient programs.

NPPC’s take: NPPC strongly supports USDA’s pork purchase and worked with USDA to secure the purchase. NPPC will continue working with the agency to identify additional opportunities to support U.S. pork producers during challenging market conditions.

Learn more: For more information on USDA’s purchase programs, including how to become an approved vendor and about solicitations, click here.

NPPC’s Johnson Meets with Cambodians on Food Safety

What happened: NPPC’s Dr. Ashley Johnson, director of food policy, met with representatives of Cambodia’s food and feed safety regulatory agencies to present an overview of NPPC, how it interacts with federal regulators, and the importance of science-based regulations and laws on food safety.

Sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Export Alliance (FAEA), which is comprised of NPPC and other U.S. feed grain and livestock organizations, the meeting in Washington, D.C., was with six officials from Cambodian ministries responsible for regulating food and feed safety laws.

Why it matters: In June 2022, Cambodia promulgated a new law on food safety to bring the Asian nation in line with international food safety standards. The country is seeking help in implementing the law as well as receiving capacity-building training from FAEA over the next two to three years.

Dr. Johnson meets with Cambodian food and feed safety regulators

Dr. Johnson (right of center, back row) meets with representatives from Cambodian food and feed safety regulatory agencies.

Organizations Weigh in on Vietnam’s Market Designation

What happened: In late December, NPPC joined forces with U.S. business and agricultural organizations in urging the U.S. Department of Commerce to change Vietnam’s designation to a “market economy” for application of the U.S. anti-dumping law for imports to the United States.

In a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, the groups said Vietnam should be treated as a market economy based on recent market-oriented reforms to its economy, including changes related to transparency, labor rights, market principles, lack of currency manipulation, and private-sector development, among others.

Anti-dumping measures, in the form of duties, can be applied to products from countries that price their exports below the “normal value” or domestic price of the same products. Countries that artificially keep domestic prices low — not allowing supply and demand to determine the market — and otherwise intervene in the marketplace are considered non-market economies, a significant factor in determining whether their low-priced exports are subject to anti-dumping measure.

NPPC’s take: NPPC supports the designation of Vietnam as a market economy, which will allow it to more easily export product to the United States. Member companies of the organizations rely on Vietnamese raw honey to produce products such as bread, dressings, condiments, and meats. As a non-market economy, Vietnam had approximately a 60% duty placed on its honey imports to the United States. This hurt U.S. companies, the organizations said. Furthermore, they pointed out, U.S. government policy in recent years has encouraged American companies to source products and materials from countries other than China. Vietnam is a key U.S. ally and alternative sourcing opportunity outside of China for U.S. companies.

USDA Agency to Host Livestock Insurance Workshops

What happened: The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) is hosting a series of workshops about the various risk management programs for livestock producers. RMA’s “Livestock Roadshow” sessions will cover: Annual Forage; Dairy Revenue Protection; Livestock Gross Margin; Livestock Risk Protection; Pasture, Rangeland, and Forage; and Weaned Calf Risk Protection.

Why it matters: Livestock producers facing uncertainties in prices, production, government policies, and foreign markets, are turning to risk management tools to protect their operations. RMA offers effective, market-based risk management programs that can strengthen the economic stability of agricultural producers and rural communities.

Learn more: Dates and times for the upcoming virtual and in-person Livestock Roadshow sessions can be found here.

2024 Pork Leadership Class Announced

What happened: NPPC and the National Pork Board announced the 2024 Pork Leadership Institute (PLI) class. PLI is a comprehensive, year-long program comprised of five sessions designed to provide a deep understanding of various aspects of the pork industry. These include the federal legislative and regulatory process, the importance of international trade, the roles of the national pork organizations and state pork associations, and contemporary challenges faced by pork producers. Additionally, participants undergo extensive media and communications training to emerge as effective grassroots advocates for the industry.

Collaborating closely with state pork association executives and field representatives, NPPC and the Pork Board selected the following individuals: Daniel Tubbs (Alabama), Kevin Rogers (Arizona), Shelby Sopocy (California), Felipe Gallegos (Colorado), Corbin Uitermarkt (Illinois), James Douglas (Indiana), Doug Gruver (Iowa), Nick Gilliland (Iowa), Hyatt Frobose (Kansas), Colin Kruithoff (Michigan), Madison Hokanson (Minnesota), Kramer Gary (Mississippi), Donnie Hays (Missouri), Logan Braaten (Montana), Michele Ledoux (New York), Blake Floars (North Carolina), Mallory Strickland (North Carolina), Colleen Hord (Ohio), and Mark Fuoss (South Dakota).

Why it matters: PLI is instrumental in shaping the success of pork producers by cultivating knowledgeable industry ambassadors and future leaders. According to NPPC CEO Bryan Humphreys: “Participation in PLI is a strategic imperative, empowering graduates to articulate the compelling narrative of the U.S. pork industry — from local communities to the heart of the nation’s capital.”

Learn more: For more information about the Pork Leadership Institute, click here.