U.S. Levies Duties On Canadian Hogs

Live hogs shipped from Canada to the U.S. will be slapped with anti-dumping duties of up to 15.01% under a preliminary decision from the U.S. Commerce Department announced on Friday.

The Commerce Department said the average duty rate would be 14.06% and the duties will take effect some time next week when they are published in the Federal Register. The duties should be in effect at least 4 1/2 months as the Department is tentatively scheduled to make a final decision in the case on Mar. 7, 2005.

The National Pork Producers Council and a number of state pork councils requested the duties back in March, arguing that rising shipments of Canadian hogs to the U.S. were injuring American farmers.

Last year, Canada exported about 7.4 million hogs, valued at $389 million, to the U.S., which was an increase of nearly 40% over the 5.3 million shipped in 2001.

Canada criticized the preliminary decision. "We disagree with the decision to slap duties on Canadian swine and we will continue to strongly defend our industry," Canadian Trade Minister Jim Peterson said in Ottawa.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange hog futures rose sharply in reaction to the news of the duties, with all contracts settling up their daily limit of $2 per hundredweight.

Editors note: Richard Brock, The Corn and Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

To see more market perspectives, visit Brock's Web site at www.brockreport.com.