With the establishment of this continuous supply chain, US chilled pork is available in the Hong Kong market from December 2019. This import initiative has been taken to fill the supply-demand gap for pork amid rising fresh pork prices and to offer an alternative to consumers at an affordable price.
Senior vice president of US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Asia Pacific Joel Haggard said: “We are delighted to bring US chilled pork to Hong Kong amid rising interest and demand for our products. US pork is produced to the highest quality and safety standards. The hogs' diet of homegrown corn and soy gives US pork a unique sweet flavor and tenderness that consumers love. The chilled pork we are bringing here will be a fine choice for Chinese cuisine with its excellent quality and affordability, and makes an excellent alternative to fresh pork for home cooking and restaurant catering.”
According to data from Hong Kong's Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, live pig auction prices in Hong Kong increased 2.63 times in 2019, from the monthly average of HK$1,188 per 100 catties (one catty = 604.7g) in January to HK$3,132 per 100 catties in November. The price surge is attributable to the significant drop by approximately 56.9% in the number of live pigs imported from Mainland China, from an average of around 4,083 per day in January to around 1,757 per day in November.
“As the world's largest pork exporter at a value of US$6 billion (HK$46.8 billion) in 2018, the US is also the largest chilled pork supplier to Asian markets, including Japan and Korea,” added Haggard. “Over half of the US's total chilled pork export value was derived from sales to Asia. The US currently has ample supplies of pork to export, with live market hog prices in the US approximately 80% below recent Hong Kong auction prices. The high quality and competitive price of US chilled pork make it an appealing choice to Hong Kong consumers.”