Major pork producer Wens Foodstuff Group saw its net profit swing to a loss in the first quarter on the impact of the outbreak of African swine fever in China.

The Chinese farming giant recorded a net loss of 460 million yuan (US$68.6 million) in the first quarter, compared with a net profit of 1.4 billion yuan a year ago, according to a Shenzhen Stock Exchange filing.

Revenue rose slightly by 6.22% year on year to 13.97 billion yuan.

It attributed the loss to lower hog and chicken prices, saying the average hog price was reduced by 4.69% year on year while chicken prices fell by nearly 15%.

The outbreak of African swine fever in China since last August has killed about 200 million pigs, leading to a sluggish hog market. The company said although hog prices picked up in March, it still cannot offset the loss of the first two months.