Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has raised many questions and concerns across the agricultural industry over the past several days. This Brexit, coupled with weather woes, has already created challenges for both the grain and cattle markets.

But what does this decision mean for the pork industry?

Purdue Economist Chris Hurt wrote in a weekly update that Brexit likely won’t have a strong impact on U.S. pork exports to the EU. As he said, the U.S. exported just 0.2% of pork to EU28 countries last year.

“However, Brexit has strengthened the U.S. dollar making U.S. pork more expensive around the globe,” Hurt wrote. “This will tend to increase prices for U.S. origin pork and reduce U.S. exports from what they would have been.”

The U.S. dollar increased by about 3.5% relative to the Euro since last week’s announcement. The 28 member countries of the EU have been the largest pork exporters in the world for the past two years.

Hurt explained, “This has given the 19 countries in the EU28 that use the Euro an immediate price advantage over U.S. pork. Said another way, Brexit gives our biggest global pork competitor a sizable and immediate price advantage.”

In addition, Brexit leaves the U.S.-EU trade deal – Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – in the air; some have even called it a “final nail” in the coffin for TTIP.

The National Pork Producers Council joined 36 other food and agriculture groups in a letter urging U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to resolve the outstanding EU market access prior to concluding TTIP negotiations later this year.

“If the issues our organizations have identified as serious barriers to our exports to the EU cannot be resolved satisfactorily before the end of the year, we urge you not to proceed with a “TTIP-lite” agreement, which, for the U.S. food and agricultural sector, would do much more harm than good,” the letter stated.

Original article June 28, Pork Network

Brexit casts shadow on U.S. pork demand