BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s WH Group Ltd (0288.HK) will be cautious about expanding Smithfield’s pork processing operations in China due to over-capacity in the world’s biggest pork market, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Wan Long said in an interview on Tuesday.
Speaking on the sidelines of parliament’s annual meeting, Wan said he expects pork prices to fall to an average of 14 yuan to 15 yuan ($4.20) per kilogram this year after hitting a record high in 2016.
WH Group bought U.S.-based Smithfield Food Inc [SFII.UL], the world’s biggest pork producer, in 2013 for almost $5 billion.
“Over-capacity in China is not only in heavy industry, but also the food industry suffers from this problem, so we will expand according to the Chinese market situation,” Wan said.
He said he expects WH Group’s imports of U.S. pork to China to increase this year from 300,000 tonnes in 2016.
Reporting by Dominique Patton; Writing by Josephine Mason; Editing by Christian Schmollinger