China, the world’s biggest consumer of pork, agreed to resume imports of the meat from 14 U.S. plants and warehouses, ending restrictions that had been in place, in some cases for more than year.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday it reached an accord permitting supplies from six processing factories and eight cold-storage facilities.
“This will allow a greater share of U.S. pork and product exports to China in the coming months,” it said.
China had banned pork exported from the plants and warehouses after some cases in which it had found traces of ractopamine, a drug used to help pigs gain muscle that’s banned in the country. The facilities banned from exporting included those owned by Tyson Foods Inc., Hormel Foods Corp. and Triumph Foods, according to the Department of Agriculture’s website.
U.S. plants participating in one of USDA’s ractopamine-control programs will be able to restart exports shortly, the USDA said in an e-mail.
Plants representing as much as half of U.S. pork processing capacity were ineligible to ship to China at one point, according to Rabobank. Chinese pork demand has been booming and exporters from the European Union have boosted shipments amid the restrictions on some U.S. suppliers.