UK to remove 25% US maize tariff in potential boost to feed costs

The UK will lift the 25% tariff on US maize imports in the early summer, potentially easing some of the pressure on feed prices

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, particularly compared with 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.

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.