China's WH Group Calls For End to Trade War As Profits Drop

Higher tariffs on U.S. exports has weighed heavily on profits, says leaders of Chinese pork producer, WH Group, who owns Smithfield Foods. ( MGN Online )

China’s WH Group, is citing higher tariffs on U.S. exports to China as one factor weighing negatively on its business, as well as outbreaks of African swine fever and rising meat production in the U.S.

Net profits for 2018 fell 4% to $1.05 billion, the company said on Friday. Revenue was up 1% to as the company continues to ramp up production to offset weaker pork prices.

“We need this to end,” said Glenn Nunziata, chief financial officer (CFO) of Smithfield Foods, a unit of WH Group, referring to the trade war.

“We were cruising in the first half of 2018, but then the trade war hit us and the rest of the year was tough,” Nunziata said during a post results press conference in Hong Kong.

Losses in the first half of 2019 will be double that of the last quarter of 2018 as the trade war continues, he added. The company’s shipments of pork from Smithfield Foods to its mainland affiliate fell 45% last year, according to Guo Lijun, vice-president and CFO at WH Group.


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