WASHINGTON – Pig and sow skin products made in the United States can be exported to directly to China, the US Hide, Skin and Leather Association (USHSLA) reported.

The announcement is good news for US producers because China represents a major opportunity to increase the value of US exports of pig and sow skins. In 2009, China restricted pig and sow skins along with other pork products on concerns related to the H1N1 virus. US exports to China of sow and pig skins peaked at nearly $23 million before the ban.

Exports of US pig and sow skins remained on hold while most other US pork products regained market access, USHSLA noted. But the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) in Beijing and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the US Department of Agriculture, US pig- and sow-skin product exports may resume immediately under existing animal by-products protocols.