Tyson Foods officials say that while China could be a strong market for U.S. pork, they have not yet seen evidence that China is has increased its pork purchases in the world market. Disease outbreaks in China's swine herd has caused a shortage and has upped speculation that the country will need to fill growing demand supplies in the export market.
"I do believe there is an opportunity there. But as of yet we — and I mean Tyson as well as the industry — have not seen anything definitive in terms of China importing additional pork from anywhere in the world," Richard Bond, Tyson chief executive officer, told participants in a conference call of Wall Street analysts.
The anticipation of China needing to buy more pork has sent U.S. hog futures markets higher.
"It could be a very positive for us and the (U.S.) industry. But as of this point, there is nothing definitive that we can point to that says that is in fact that is going to happen," says Bond.
Indeed, China's appetite for pork and other proteins are on the rise as more Chinese have more money in there pockets. China is already the worlds largest pork consumer.
In a related matter, Bond notes that reports indicating China has suspended imports from the company are "inaccurate."
Earlier in July, China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine reported that frozen poultry from Tyson was contaminated with Salmonella and that it had suspended imports from the company and other U.S. meat processors.
However, Bond points out that Tyson achieved growing exports of chicken leg quarters to China and other Asian countries.
As is often the case in China, accurate reports are hard to secure.
Source: Yahoo! News/ Reuters