(Adds details on market impact, U.S. hog slaughter)
CHICAGO, Sept 6 Smithfield Foods Inc,
a subsidiary of WH Group Ltd, on Tuesday said a hog
slaughterhouse in Illinois will be operational as soon as
possible after a fire halted pork production on Monday.
"(The) cause of the fire is being investigated," Smithfield
spokeswoman Kathleen Kirkham said, adding that there were no
injuries in the fire that occurred in a rendering section of the
facility in Monmouth, in the western part of the state.
Smithfield says it is the world's largest hog producer and
The company's Farmland Foods plant in Monmouth can process
more than 10,000 hogs per day, accounting for only a small
percentage of total U.S. hog slaughter capacity of more than
440,000 hogs per day, according to industry data.
With the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasting
record-large U.S. hog supplies this year, any prolonged outage
would likely back up supplies and weigh on prices. Chicago
Mercantile Exchange October lean hogs fell 2.3 percent
to 59.325 cents per lb, with losses partially tied to the
Smithfield outage, traders said.
One hog dealer said the fire damaged refrigeration lines for
coolers at the plant. Another dealer said the facility likely
will not be accepting hogs for at least two days.
(Reporting by Michael Hirtzer; Editing by Dan Grebler)