MEXICO CITY (B)--Mexico said Oct. 10 it would review its antidumping duties on U.S. slaughter hogs, citing concerns over a steep reduction in hog supply and increases in hog prices.
Mexico on Oct. 20, 1999, imposed final antidumping duties on import slaughter hogs from the United States of $0.351 per kilogram after concluding the products were unfairly priced and threatened the national industry.
Hog prices in Mexico have risen strongly since then, while imports--which had grown astronomically during the great U.S. hog price depression of 1998 and 1999--have virtually ground to a halt.
In a Mexican Federal Register announcement of the review, the Commerce Secretariat (SECOFI) said slaughter hog imports from the United States had dropped 66.4% in January-May 2000, compared with the previous-year period. The United States is Mexico's principal foreign supplier of pork.
Import prices rose 45.5% in the period, year-on-year, pushing the price of the imported product to a level 11.9% higher than domestic hogs, according to SECOFI.
During the period, flows of hogs to slaughterhouses dropped 42.4% year-on-year while prices rose 40.8%.
Total supply of live hogs, both imported and national, fell 46%.
"SECOFI believes that the combined effect of a reduction in the total supply of live hogs with a substantial increase in their price could end up having negative repercussions in the productive processes that use live hogs as the principal input and that, at the same time, this could have repercussion in the supply of pork meat for the general public," the announcement said.
For the purposes of its review, SECOFI said it would look at the period Jan. 1 to June 30, 2000.
In the January to July 2000 period, Mexico's imports of live slaughter hogs totaled $4.2 million, 93% from the United States.
According to 1998 supply/demand estimates, the most recent figures available from the government, Mexico's pork consumption was 1.22 million tons, with imports accounting for 22.9%.