By Bloomberg News
China reported a third case of the highly infectious African swine fever among hogs on Sunday, raising concerns that the authorities may step up inspection of meat imports.
The agriculture ministry is investigating whether the three instances have any connection, state radio reported on Monday. The latest one was recorded in the eastern province of Jiangsu, thousands of miles away from Shenyang in the northeast, where the presence of the swine fever was first reported on Aug. 3.
The first outbreak led to the culling of 8,116 hogs in the city of Shenyang, according to the local government. Pork processor WH Group Ltd. fell as much as 7% on Monday, Henan Shuanghui Investment & Development Co. dropped as much as 6.9%, while Muyuan Foodstuff Co. fell as much as 9%. A slaughterhouse owned by WH Group Ltd. was closed after the second case was found in Zhengzhou of Henan province on Aug. 14.
The outbreak of the disease, the first in the country, may prompt the authorities to strictly scrutinize meat imports, while hog farms may advance slaughtering of their herds, said Feng Yonghui, chief analyst with industry portal www.soozhu.com. Domestic pork prices, which recently rebounded, may come under pressure, Feng said.
Any significant slaughtering of hogs in the affected regions may hurt demand for corn and soybean meal, said Xiong Kuan, analyst with COFCO Futures Co. Ltd. Soybean meal for January delivery on the Dalian Commodity Exchange on Monday fell as much as 2.1% to 3,155 yuan per ton, while corn futures rose as much as 0.8%.
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