WH Group, the world’s largest pork company, blamed African Swine Fever for a 16.9 per cent decline in profits for the first half of its fiscal year.
And it expects matters to get worse as the disease has reduced China’s hog population.
At the beginning of the year, culling to curb the spread of the deadly disease actually increased pork processing volumes at depressed pig prices.
Now, however, hog marketings are in sharp decline, prices are rising and WH Group's pork-processing margins are being squeezed.
Profit for the first six months this year was $463 million compared with $557 million last year.
WH Group owns Smithfield Foods, the largest hog producer and pork processor in the United States.