A Northern Missouri news outlet reported over the weekend that Smithfield Foods plans to close 37 sow farms starting May 1. According to KTVO News, the farms are located in Putnam and Mercer counties.
An employee who requested anonymity told KTVO that the company president made the announcement last week.
Smithfield Foods did not confirm or offer any more details regarding the closures to National Hog Farmer.
"We are always taking steps to enhance our business for consistently strong performance during favorable and unfavorable market conditions," said Jim Monroe, vice president for corporate affairs for Smithfield Foods.
In April, China's WH Group informed shareholders and potential investors, that based on preliminary review of unaudited consolidated management accounts, the group was expecting a 56% drop in its first quarter 2023 profit outlook, from the US $395 million for the same period in 2022. In a filing with the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, the owner of Smithfield Foods says the decrease, before biological fair value adjustments, was mainly attributable to the challenging market conditions in the U.S. pork segment.
"Hog raising costs remain elevated while pork prices have been adversely impacted by softer consumer demand. The industry gross cut-out margin, or the spread between meat values (carcass cut-out published by the USDA) and hog costs (lean hog index published by Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Inc.), also declined significantly year-over-year during the three months."