(Yicai Global) May 6 -- Shares of Chinese producers of artificial meat gained by the most allowed today as China's stock market fell sharply in the first trading after the Labor Day holiday.
Yantai Shuangta Food [SHE:002481], Hi-Tech Soybean Food [SHA:600095] and V Food & Beverage [SHA:600300] rose by the bourse-imposed daily limit of 10 percent, while many other producers also advanced. These companies develop and produce foods with vegetable protein such as soybeans to make meatless 'chicken' and 'pork.'
Artificial meat has drawn all eyes lately as the African swine fever epidemic continues to decimate China's farmed hogs. Pork makes up over 60 percent of the meat China eats and the country raises most of its own hogs and depends little on imports. Pork prices have risen as the pig disease thins global supplies of the meat.
Vegetarian meat may have great scope in first-tier cities, despite slightly higher prices, Guosheng Securities said in a recent report, because it will spur consumer demand out of considerations of health, environmental protection and curiosity.
Another reason for the market's recent focus on fake meat packers is that flesh from livestock in an epidemic is more prone to virus and may affect human health, while substitute 'meat' can avoid this through industrial production.
Cultured meat, which is extracted from animal muscle and then grown in vitro, is another type of artificial meat. This process saves time and yields healthier meat since cultivators can toggle fat types to produce flesh rich in healthy ones.
Meanwhile today, market benchmarks retreated, with the Shanghai Composite Index falling 5.6 percent and the Shenzhen Component Index losing 7.6 percent.
Editor: Ben Armour