I did a little reading on China pork industry lately. I found 3 pork producers listed in Shenzhen, Hongkong and the US. There are Henan Shuanghui (000895 Chinese, English), Nanjing Yurun (1068.HK), and Henan Zhongpin (Nasdaq: HOGS).
I believe they are three major pork producers, and the sales of pork are also in this order (descending): Shuanghui, Yurun, Zhongpin. I remember I ate many Shuanghui sausages while in college. I also determined that was junk food (not much real good meat) recently.
Interestingly, as of Friday May 23, the PE (price earning, ttm) ratio of those three are also in this order: 44 for Shuanghui (000895.SZ), 22 for Yurun (1068.HK), and 13.4 for Zhongpin (HOGS, Yahoo Finance). Assume the companies has similar profit margin and financial leverage, the different PEs shows how different market values the similar business (pork/food) in mainland, Hongkong and the US.
The food industry in China is competitive, as it has been in the US. It appears there are more and more consolidations in the pork producers. Recently the producers all got it by the high cost of feed (the grain price hike) and other raw materials.
There are some arguments say that Chinese are eating more meat these days: another reason caused the global food shortage because it takes more grain to produce meat (and the protein). I have not confirmed it one way or the other yet.
On the other hand, the pork price has been risen quite a bit last year in China, although the goverment had tried to control the price. I think ultimately most cost increase will be passed to consumers, as people got to eat (meat). That’s one beauty of the food stocks, because people all over the world need to eat, be it economy recession or boom.