American pork makes its way to Ghana

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To meet its consumption of pork, Ghana will now seek it from the United States. A way to diversify its suppliers in the face of ever-increasing demand.

Like other English-speaking countries with dynamic economies, Ghana is consuming more and more meat, especially pork. This trend is reflected in imports: they have tripled between 2017 and 2021, according to the Ecofin agency. Until then, the major supplier of pork was above all Europe: Belgium, Poland, Germany and the Netherlands in the lead. No wonder when you know that the EU supplies two-thirds of the pork imported by the entire African continent.

Local sectors: the challenge of competitiveness

The opening of the Ghanaian market to American pork reflects the difficulties of the local industry to ramp up to meet growing demand. Producing meat in Ghana, as elsewhere on the African continent, is a challenge: it means having grain to feed livestock, but also a cold chain to preserve the meat. Producing pork is more complicated than beef or mutton. “It is not a meat suitable for hot countries“, explains Jean-Paul Simier expert in the sector. The animal and its meat are particularly more prone to disease.

When the sectors exist, they find it difficult to be competitive with imports. This is the case for the pork and poultry sectors. For example, European frozen chicken that arrives at the port of Accra is three times cheaper than that raised locally, which forces Ghanaian producers to sell at knockdown prices to their great despair.

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There is no “small” market for the United States

Buying pork from the United States will, in fact, enable Ghana to diversify its supply and be less dependent on Europe. Buying from the United States may not make a huge difference in price for Ghana, however, because the meat market remains very competitive at the moment, and prices are equal on the world market, explains Jean-Paul Simier.

By asking to enter the Ghanaian market, American operators are once again proving their interest in a rapidly growing continent, and their constant desire to open up to all markets, however small they may be. And this even if China continues to absorb ever more American meat: American meat exports to China have jumped by more than 15% in 2022.

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