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Pig disease effects to last, Tyson says

A deadly pig disease spreading through China will create global protein shortages that could affect markets for years, Tyson Foods Inc. officials said Wednesday.

African swine fever could have a much longer effect than just 12 months of additional Chinese protein demand, Tyson Chief Financial Officer Stewart Glendinning said in an interview during the BMO Capital Markets 14th annual Farm to Market investor conference in New York. Chief Executive Officer Noel White said the consequences could easily last for years.

Chinese pig production probably will shrink by about 30% this year, or the size of all European supply, according to agricultural lender Rabobank. The disease kills most infected pigs within 10 days and is spreading to other countries.

"This is not only a Chinese problem," Glendinning said. "It's endemic in Africa. It's been around in Russia for 20 years."

Tyson is well-placed to benefit, he said. The company has a $5 billion export business, shipping its products to more than 120 countries. While pork is the obvious protein to profit, a shorter life cycle for chickens means poultry also is well-positioned, Glendinning said.

-- Bloomberg News

Oklahoma shifts on alcohol distribution

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Gov. Kevin Stitt signed legislation this week intended to give smaller liquor stores more wholesale options in Oklahoma.

The bill makes top brands of wine and spirits available to all of Oklahoma's alcohol wholesalers. Currently, manufacturers of wine and spirits can designate a single wholesaler to distribute their products.

Signed Monday, the bill alters a law that voters approved in 2016 allowing the sale of wine and strong beer in grocery and convenience stores and the sale of cold, strong beer in liquor stores.

The voter-approved measure also allowed wholesalers to gain sole distribution rights for specific brands, benefiting some of Oklahoma's 11 wholesalers. But Boardwalk Distribution in Tulsa failed to secure the rights to distribute any of the top 100 brands.

"It was an unintended consequence I think that happened on that original change," Stitt told The Oklahoman.

-- The Associated Press

Arkansas Index dips 0.64, ends at 420.44

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed at 420.44 Wednesday, down 0.64.

"Stocks recovered from early session lows to close higher on the day following reports that President Donald Trump would delay implementation of auto tariffs with the European Union and Japan for six months," said Leon Lants, managing director at Stephens Inc. in Little Rock.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Business on 05/16/2019

Print Headline: NEWS IN BRIEF

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