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Removal of 25% US maize tariff could bring feed price boost

23rd Mar 2022 / By Alistair Driver

In a move that should ease some of the pressure on feed prices, the UK will be lifting the 25% tariff on US maize imports.

The tariff on maize is one of a number being removed on goods from the US from June 1, after International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan announced she had secured a resolution with the US to end the ongoing issue around steel and aluminium tariffs. This has re-opened tariff-free access to UK steel and aluminium products and the UK has reciprocated by removing tariffs on various US goods.

Maize is included in some pig diets, although its use is not widespread. Its use is much wider in dairy production, for example, but crucially the price of other raw materials, including wheat can be linked to it. 

So, while the move should increase supplies of cereals on the wider market, it should also ease some of the wider feed cost pressures, including on wheat, that have escalated since the start of the Ukraine war. However, just how big this impact will be in the face of the unprecedented global dynamics at the moment is unclear.

The Agricultural Industries Confederation’s (AIC) head of policy Ed Barker said the decision to lift the 25% tariff will help to mitigate the now limited maize exports coming from Ukraine and Russia and improve the ability of the agri-supply chain to maintain a continued supply of animal feed to UK farmers.

“Since the start of the war in Ukraine, AIC has been clear that the Government must be prepared to take quick action to facilitate the continued supply of inputs to UK, such as animal feed. This includes addressing barriers to trade with the EU or the rest of the world,” he said.