AGRIBUSINESS: Smithfield Foods Sale Raises Questions

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The sale of Smithfield Foods, the nation's largest pork processor, to Shaunghui, a similar Chinese Company, raises questions about the efficiency of shipping grain to China or shipping pork.

According to Dr. Steve Meyer, president of Paragon Economics, each market weight hog in the United States consumed $133.27 in feed ingredients.  The value of each hog was $196.25 including by products.

If China buys pork rather than grain, the feeding, processing and additional value added goes to U.S. farmers and agribusinesses.

The grian, normally shipped to China to feed pigs there would weigh 856 pounds whereas the pork carcass would weigh 205 pounds.  That would save 75% of the shipping although the pork would need to be refrigerated for the ocean voyage.

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