April 27, 2009 / 8:50 AM / 10 years ago

STOCKS NEWS EUROPE-Fish shares up, pork down on swine flu

Shares in Marine Harvest Group MHG.OL, the world’s biggest fish farmer, rise more than 10 percent with traders speculating swine flu could lift salmon prices as witnessed during previous outbrakes of bird flu and cow disease.

Smaller salmon farmer and fish feed supplier Austevoll Seafood (AUSS.OL) jumps 14 percent. In Spain, frozen fish company Pescanova (PVA.MC) is up 4.5 percent, while sausage casings company Viscofan (VIS.MC) is down 9.5 percent. British sausage skin maker Devro (DVO.L) falls 4.6 percent and pork supplier Cranswick (CWK.L) falls 4.7 percent.

“Historically, the effects have been temporary, but right then and there the effect can be substantial (on prices)”, says fish farming analyst Dag Sletmo at ABG Sundal Collier.

“Consumers can become nervous, and substitute swine with other sources of protein,” Sletmo says, adding supply of swine would not be affected unless there were import restrictions or slaughter of infected animals.

Reuters messaging rm://richard.solem.reuters.com@reuters.net

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