5% Chinese stake in Smithfield foods
U.S. pork producer Smithfield Foods has reported that
COFCO Limited, China's largest agricultural trading and processing company, will
buy a near-5-percent stake in the company.
COFCO's investment, the company's first in a U.S firm, will assist its
expansion in the Chinese pork industry. â€œWe hope we will learn from Smithfield
its technology and management advantages in the production chain from livestock
breeding to quarantine to consumer table," said a Beijing spokeswoman, adding
the move was not aiming at increasing pork imports.
Consumption in China, the world's
largest pork producer and consumer, has been growing more than 10 percent
annually over recent years. Prices hit record high levels in 2006 following an
outbreak of blue-ear disease
Domestic pork prices were
likely to remain high for the rest of the year after the May earthquake in the
country's largest pork producing province of Sichuan killed more than 3 million
pigs, according to estimates from industry officials.
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