Chinese Businessman, Qin Yinglin, the chairman of Muyuan Foodstuff Co. has seen his net worth more than quadruple this year to $8.6 billion, all because of pig farming.
This made him the fastest-growing fortune on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with a ranking of the world’s 500 richest people.
According to data from China’s Ministry of Commerce, wholesale pork prices have more than doubled this year. This has fueled the highest annual consumer inflation rate in seven years as an epidemic of African swine fever led to the deaths of millions of pigs.
Qin isn’t the only one to cash in on the crisis. Other winners include Hong Kong-listed WH Group, the world’s biggest pork producer, and New Hope Group, a pig breeder and animal-feed maker. New Hope Chairman Liu Yonghao now has a net worth of $11 billion, almost double from the end of 2018.
According to the company’s third-quarter filing, the majority of Qin’s wealth is derived from a 60% stake in Muyuan. He holds the shares along with his wife through Muyuan Industrial Group.
The company had been disinfecting trucks, sterilizing animal feed with heat and filtering the air in farms to prevent the spread of African swine fever, Qin told South China Morning Post in a March interview.
According to Fitch Ratings, Muyuan’s profit surged 260% in the third quarter from the same period in 2018, driven primarily by higher pork prices. The company and other large producers probably gained market share as smaller firms were forced out of business amid heavy losses.