Smithfield Foods announced that it will increase pork production at its Sioux City, Iowa plant. The additional pork will be bound for China. Next week, the plant will begin processing an additional 3,200 hogs per day and will add about 250 workers. The expansion will help meet contract needs for the company’s growing business in China.
China does not allow pork produced with ractopamine and it has blocked imports from some U.S. pork plants and issued warnings to others. “In the conversations we have had with the Chinese trading company, we have agreed to supply them Paylean-free products,” according to Larry Pope, Smithfield chief executive. Ractopamine is marketed under the name Paylean.
In August, the company announced a deal to sell 60 million pounds of pork to a Chinese trading company. Smithfield Foods is the largest hog producer and pork processor in the United States and can produce about 13 million hogs per year.