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U.S. Asks for More Time on China Pork Import Rule, Group Says

March 1 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Meat Export Federation said shippers to China, the third biggest buyer of U.S. pork, intend to comply with a new requirement that products have test reports showing they are free of the additive ractopamine.

The group also continues to press China, the largest consumer of pork, to delay today’s implementation date because exporters weren’t given enough notice and some shipments already in transit won’t meet the requirement, Joel Haggard, the group’s Asia-Pacific vice president, said by e-mail yesterday.

China’s quality watchdog, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine delivered the notice to U.S. agencies in Beijing last week, Haggard said. Ractopamine is a feed additive used to add lean muscle in livestock, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation.

The watchdog, in a statement on its website yesterday, said “starting March 1, importers or representatives of U.S. meat, when reporting imports of U.S. pork at the customs of the port of entry, shall provide a report by a certifying organization with qualifications showing no residue of ractopamine is detected.”

Hog futures for April delivery rose 0.2 percent to 81.175 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange at 11:40 a.m. in Beijing. The price dropped 9.4 percent last month, the most since July.

China imported 9,658 tons of pork from the U.S. in January, according to the Beijing-based customs authority. The data don’t account for so-called variety meats, including pig feet and ears, shunned by U.S. consumers and popular in China, which help American hog suppliers raise their profitability, according to Haggard.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: William Bi in Beijing at wbi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Brett Miller at bmiller30@bloomberg.net

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