Meat prices could climb as disease sweeps China's hog industry

(Photo: NBC)

Consumers are bracing for a price hike at the meat counter.

A disease currently sweeping China's hog industry could impact consumers' wallets. As a result, China, which is the world's top pork market, is expected to import more pork, beef and poultry to fulfill its shortfall.

The USDA estimates China could import 33 percent more pork to meet its demand. That means less met in the U.S. and potentially higher prices for consumers.

Companies like Tyson Foods, McDonald's, Wendy's and others say they expect higher prices this year. Analysts say meat prices could rise by more than 15 percent, however, it will likely take months to feel the full impact.

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