Smithfield Foods to Export Pork to China

An outbreak of a deadly disease among Chinese pigs has created a business opportunity for Virginia-based Smithfield Foods, which today announced an agreement to ship 60 million pounds of pork to China. Smithfield said it would deliver the pork by the end of December to an unnamed Chinese trading company. Financial terms were not disclosed in the company's statement.

Tens of thousands of pigs in China have died from the ailment, which is called blue ear disease, and farmers have slaughtered more than 100,000 animals in an effort to contain the outbreak. Pork prices have jumped sharply this year as supplies have tightened.

The disease, formally known as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, leads to breathing and digestive problems, and can cause still births. Its informal name was coined because the ears of affected pigs turn blue.

Smithfield is one of the world's largest processors of pork, with sales of $12 billion last year. The company said Thursday that its first-quarter profit more than doubled, to $54.6 million from $24.6 million a year ago. Smithfield officials said today the export agreement could lead to additional business in China, which is the world's biggest consumer of pork.

"Although our agreement today is modest, we believe there could be additional purchases and we are hopeful that this is the beginning of a longer-term and growing association," said C. Larry Pope, Smithfield's chief executive, in a statement. "This is a milestone for Smithfield in terms of our business alliances in China and represents another step in our global expansion."

By Mike Shepard  |  August 24, 2007; 2:58 PM ET  | Category:  Manufacturing
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I am shocked that Smithfield is associated them selves with China who is poisoning the world with defected products.I will not buy anything that so made in China.

Posted by: Josie | August 24, 2007 5:57 PM

Uh... Josie, did you read the article...
Smithfield is sell pork to China in order to help the pork market in China which has suffered severe price inflation. This has nothing to do with the recent media's attack on goods from China.

Posted by: Not Josie | August 24, 2007 6:47 PM

Can the editor fix this article please?

Third paragraph, last sentence...
"The ailment does not"

Posted by: to the editor | August 24, 2007 6:48 PM

and farmers have slaughtered more than 100,000 animals in an effort to contain the outbreak.


This alone cannot do too much with the pork price increase in China if you know that the more than 300 million pigs are put into market in China each year.

Posted by: Steve | August 24, 2007 7:18 PM

Well china never buy anything from outside. Now they want to buy some pork from US. Well let me know when they will allow american companies to freely operate in china. The recent media releases say that US is over protective. This comment came from chinese commerce minister. If you supply all stupid goods to US and Citizens of the US are in serious danger by using your low quality good s how can US remain silent on every fake goods you make

Posted by: Good deal for US | August 25, 2007 4:27 PM

I don't know why there're so many Muslim Americans calling off reaping money from China which is a real good business for anyone to provide good and service for the sake of billion lives who won't disappoint anyone doing business with them, and instead generate much generous profit

Posted by: Joah | August 26, 2007 10:17 AM

actually for japanese, the percentage of contaminated imported food from usa is higher than that of imported chinese food.

Posted by: us food quality | August 26, 2007 9:38 PM

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