China to resume imports from U.S. pork plants

Chicago | Reuters — China, the world’s largest pork consumer, will soon resume imports from 14 U.S. pork plants and warehouses, after halting some shipments last year over the use of a feed additive, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday.

USDA did not provide a date on which China will resume the imports.

China’s decision will “mean a significant boost in sales for American pork producers,” the USDA said. The agency touted “China’s recognition of strong regulatory controls and the high quality of U.S. pork.”

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The six U.S. processing plants and eight cold storage facilities affected by China’s decision participate in U.S. programs under which they do not use the feed additive ractopamine, which promotes lean muscle growth in hogs, according to USDA.

China prohibits imports of pork produced from hogs that were fed ractopamine, and last year barred shipments from several U.S facilities to enforce the ban. The restrictions affected plants owned by Tyson Foods and Hormel Foods.

A Tyson spokesman had no immediate comment. Hormel representatives could not immediately be reached for comment. The U.S. Meat Export Federation, an industry group, also had no immediate comment.

U.S. pork exports to China last year were valued at more than US$474 million, according to the USDA.

Reporting for Reuters by Tom Polansek in Chicago.

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