U.S. to Ask China to Delay New Rules on Pork Imports, Group Says

The U.S. Meat Export Federation said it will ask China, the third-biggest buyer of American pork, to delay a new layer documentation that shipments are free of the additive ractopamine.

The quarantine service sent a letter to U.S. officials in Beijing this week stating that U.S. pork imports need further paper work certifying they are free of the additive, which is used to make meat leaner, Joel Haggard, the group’s Asia-Pacific vice president, said by telephone today. With some consignments on their way, the March 1 deadline for changes can’t be met and should be rolled back, he said.

China, the world’s largest consumer of pork, already bans ractopamine and there have been no problems reported with U.S. in recent months, Haggard said.

“You want to make sure you get it right, but we just don’t have the details yet as to exactly what’s required,” he said, speaking while waiting to board a flight from Hong Kong to Beijing.

Hogs futures in Chicago fell 0.3 percent to 82.775 cents a pound at 8:09 p.m. Beijing time, declining for a sixth day.

China imported 8,953 tons of pork from the U.S. in December, according to the Beijing-based customs authority. The data doesn’t account for the large amount of 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.

Two telephone calls to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine in Beijing were not answered outside normal business hours.

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