Seeking Alpha

Pig virus roils hog industry

  • The U.S. pork industry is attempting to cope with a virus that has killed thousands of piglets since first appearing in April and has boosted prices in the $9B hog-futures market.
  • Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus is only fatal to young pigs and is not harmful to humans, but it could cause the loss of 2-3M head, or as much as 3% of the industry's total.
  • Hormel Foods (HRL) has already warned that FY 2014 earnings could suffer the effects of "potentially volatile hog costs" because of the virus. Tyson Foods (TSN) is also a pork producer.
  • Still, the USDA has predicted that pork output will increase 2% this year to 23.6B pounds, due to heavier hog weights.
  • ETFs: UBC, LSTK, COW
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