The Chemical That Hurt U.S. Pork Exports

Twenty one day-old pigs stand in a barn in Strawn, Illinois Photograph by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

The largest pork producer in the U.S., Smithfield Foods, announced a 63 percent plunge in net income for its most recent quarter, the result of China and Russia banning U.S. pork earlier this year. The weak earnings, coming on the heels of Smithfield agreeing to be bought by China’s Shuanghui, marked a surprising turn of events. Isn’t China supposed to be hog heaven for big U.S. pork suppliers?

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