Farmscape for March 17, 2014
The chair of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board is confident, once ratified, a new free trade agreement with south Korea will immediately strengthen the position of the Canadian pork industry in that market.
Last week Canada and South Korea concluded a free trade agreement that, over time, will virtually eliminate tariffs on Canadian pork entering that market.
Sask Pork chair Florian Possberg notes the value of Canadian pork exports to South Korea peaked in 2011 at almost a quarter of a billion dollars but with free trade agreements with key competitors like the U.S. and the EU, Canada's share of that market has steadily declined.
Clip-Florian Possberg-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:
The key is they are a high value purchaser of pork internationally.
They do import some specialty products like bones, for example, which probably don't have a really good market anywhere else.
The Americans did an assessment and they think the South Korean market alone adds ten dollars per pig to the value of their production so that's the kind of numbers we're looking at for improvement in our Canadian competitiveness as well.
Once the agreement is ratified and, since it's thought that that should happen fairly quickly, we will still have a bit of a tariff disadvantage to the Americans by about six to eight percent but, of course, with our Canadian dollar being advantageous to the U.S. dollar we will probably see more exports go to South Korea right away.
As well, over five to 13 years, all these tariffs will be eliminated which will put us on par with any other competitor so we're really looking forward to that because we see our market share in South Korea really being regained.
Possberg notes Saskatchewan exports 80 percent of the pork it produces so having a premium market like South Korea being a realistic destination will increase the value of our pork production.
For Farmscape.Ca I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council