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Smithfield Foods closes U.S. pork plant due to new coronavirus

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - Smithfield Foods Inc, the world's biggest pork processor, said on Thursday it is temporarily closing a plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, because of the new coronavirus, the latest disruption to the U.S. food supply chain from the outbreak.

The company will suspend operations in a large section of the pork plant on April 11 and completely shutter it on April 12 and April 13, after employees tested positive for the virus, according to a statement.

The plant has a total of 3,700 workers, Smithfield said. It supplies nearly 130 million servings of food per week, or about 18 million servings per day, in the United States, according to the company, which is owned by China's WH Group Ltd. <0288.HK>

Tyson Foods Inc <TSN.N> said on Monday it closed a pork plant in Columbus Junction, Iowa, after more than 24 cases of COVID-19 involving employees at the facility. U.S. beef plants run by JBS USA [JBS.UL] and National Beef Packing Company have also shut.

(Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)