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World’s Biggest Pork Producer Warns of Bacon Shortage

  • Spread of pig disease in China will have global ripples
  • U.S. ham market could also face deficit, Smithfield says
Declining Supplies Of Pigs Have Pushed Up Retail-Bacon Prices

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

It’s scary news for bacon fans: The U.S. could see tight supplies, or even some shortages of pork bellies along with ham next year as the spread of a pig-killing disease in China ripples through the global market.

That’s according to Smithfield Foods Inc., the world’s biggest pork producer. While China’s hog crisis hasn’t had much impact on the U.S. market yet, that could change in 2020 as the Asian nation is forced to increase imports even more in the face a prolonged protein deficit, said Arnold Silver, director of raw materials procurement at Smithfield, which is owned by Hong Kong-listed WH Group Ltd.