Smithfield Foods Inc. reported a loss of $190 million for this year, the company's first full-year deficit in 25 years.
The company's hog production and other divisions took a hit as a result of high energy and feed costs that offset profits in its pork and international divisions.
C. Larry Pope, chief executive officer and president, said the company was worried about the hog business due to greater production than demand and the new ethanol policy which is diverting corn crop.
Pope added that it was the first time that food costs had increased during the recession. The company paid $88 million more for feed in the fourth quarter than in the same quarter the previous year.