Smithfield Foods Inc. has increased its pork shipments to China by almost half in the first six months of 2015, Chief Financial Officer Kenneth Sullivan said.
Exports climbed 45 percent from the previous year, as the country culls as many as 10 million sows, Sullivan told investors Tuesday on an earnings conference call.
China, the world’s biggest pork consumer, will import 45 percent more of the meat this year as prices rise because of declining output, according to Rabobank International.
“We certainly are seeing demand from China,” Sullivan said on the call. The number of sows being culled is “more than equivalent of the entire U.S. industry.”
Hog futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange increased by the exchange limit Monday, probably as large commercial buyers took long positions, said Dennis Smith, senior account executive at Archer Financial Services in Chicago.
Prices gained 2.5 percent to 67.45 cents a pound at 12:02 p.m. in Chicago.