Bacon shortage could hit US amid pork crisis in China

Americans could soon find it harder to bring home the bacon.

Virginia-based pork producer Smithfield Foods Inc., maker of bacon, ham and sausages, says the United States could face a bacon and ham shortage next year, as the spread of a pig-killing disease in China starts affecting the global market, according to reports.

The deadly hog disease that hit parts of Africa and Europe has spread across Asia infecting millions of pigs. As a result, prices of pork in China — home to half the world’s pig population —  have skyrocketed.

And the U.S. could be affected next year if China is forced to increase imports as a result of the shortage, Arnold Silver, director of raw materials procurement at Smithfield, a wholly-owned subsidiary of WH Group of China, told Bloomberg. What’s more, China’s pork production will reportedly be down more than 32 million tons by next year.

Exports of pork from the U.S. to China will see 12% growth in 2019, and 13% growth in 2020, and that will put pressure on suppliers to keep up with production, an economist told Bloomberg.