Pig virus roils hog industry

|By:, SA News Editor

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.