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What do EVs have to do with the price of pork in China? Actually, a lot.

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Earlier in June, the European Union (EU) announced a tariff hike on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs), prompting Beijing to warn of potential retaliatory measures. Now, in what has been seen as part of that response, Chinese officials launched an investigation into the prices of pork imported from Europe.

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The investigation is a move that could have significant economic repercussions for the EU, given China’s immense demand for pork.

China is the world’s largest consumer of pork. The country expects to account for more than half of global consumption this year. In some Chinese provinces, the average person consumes a quarter pound of pork daily, contributing to the nearly 2 million pigs consumed nationwide each day.

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Last year, China spent approximately $6 billion on pork imports. More than 50% of that pork came from the EU.

The EU’s executive branch, the European Commission, stated it will closely monitor China’s investigation and intervene if necessary, downplaying concerns about significant impacts on European farmers. However, China might not be done hitting back at Europe and other nations that have similarly increased electric vehicle tariffs against them.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Washington, D.C., is bracing for retaliation over the Biden administration’s own duty hike on Chinese EVs. Meanwhile, market analysts suggested Beijing could also impose tariffs on other European exports, such as wines and brandy, which have been lucrative markets for Europe.

Last year, nearly 70% of Chinese wine imports came from the EU, and China is the second-largest importer of brandy after the United States.

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[JACK AYLMER]

WHAT DO ELECTRIC VEHICLES HAVE TO DO WITH THE PRICE OF PORK IN CHINA?

WELL, MORE THAN YOU’D THINK.

AFTER THE EUROPEAN UNION ANNOUNCED A TARIFF HIKE ON CHINESE EVS EARLIER THIS MONTH, BEIJING WARNED IT WOULD RETALIATE.

SO NOW IN WHAT HAS BEEN SEEN AS PART OF THEIR ATTEMPT TO GET EVEN, CHINESE OFFICIALS ARE GOING AFTER EUROPE’S PORK MARKET.

LAUNCHING AN INVESTIGATION INTO PRICES OF THE MEAT COMING FROM THE CONTINENT.

AND IT COULD ACTUALLY BE A BIG ECONOMIC BLOW TO THE EU.

THAT’S BECAUSE NO COUNTRY IN THE WORLD EATS MORE PORK THAN CHINA.

IN TOTAL, THEY’RE EXPECTED TO ACCOUNT FOR MORE THAN HALF OF GLOBAL PORK CONSUMPTION THIS YEAR.

THE AVERAGE PERSON IN SOME CHINESE PROVINCES EAT A QUARTER POUND OF PORK EVERY DAY-

CONTRIBUTING TO THE NEARLY 2 MILLION PIGS CONSUMED BY THE NATION ON A DAILY BASIS.

WITH SUCH HIGH DOMESTIC DEMAND, CHINA SPENT ABOUT SIX BILLION DOLLARS ON PORK IMPORTS LAST YEAR-

MORE THAN 50 PERCENT OF WHICH CAME FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION.

THE EU’S EXECUTIVE BRANCH SAID IT WILL BE FOLLOWING THE INVESTIGATION CLOSELY AND INTERVENE WHEN APPROPRIATE-

DOWNPLAYING FEARS THE PROBE WILL HAVE MUCH OF AN IMPACT ON EUROPE’S FARMERS. 

BUT, CHINA MIGHT NOT BE DONE HITTING BACK OVER THOSE HIGHER ELECTRIC VEHICLE TARIFFS.

U-S TREASURY SECRETARY JANET YELLEN HAS SAID WASHINGTON IS BRACING FOR RETALIATION FOR OUR OWN TARIFFS ON CHINESE E-VS. 

MARKET ANALYSTS BELIEVE BEIJING COULD NEXT IMPOSE TARIFFS ON EUROPEAN WINES AND BRANDY-

TWO OTHER PRODUCTS THAT EUROPE HAS MADE A LOT OF MONEY SELLING TO CHINA IN THE PAST.

LAST YEAR NEARLY 70 PERCENT OF CHINESE WINE IMPORTS CAME FROM THE EU-

AND ONLY THE U.S. IMPORTS MORE BRANDY THAN CHINA.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW THE ELECTRIC VEHICLE TRANSITION HAS INFLUENCED GEOPOLITICAL TENSIONS AROUND THE GLOBE, DOWNLOAD THE STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS AND SIGN UP FOR ALERTS FROM ME – JACK AYLMER – SO I CAN KEEP YOU INFORMED.