Shares in Hong Kong-listed China Huishan Dairy Holdings sank drastically today, erasing approximately $4 billion from its market value, according to CGTN news:
“The shares fell to as low as 0.25 HK dollars before edging back up to 0.42 HK dollars when trading was halted. Before today, Huishan Shares had posted narrow fluctuations between 2.69 HK dollars and 3.23 HK dollars since the start of October 2015. Officials for China Huishan were not available for comment.”
Whilst it is not clear what triggered the massive slide, the shutdown reflects the ongoing negative trend in the dairy milk business. In the UK for example, more than a thousand dairy farms have closed in the last three years, and research conducted by Mintel shows that 49% of Americans now regularly consuming non-dairy milk. This is likely due to increased consumer awareness of the treatment of cows and the deleterious health and environmental effects of the dairy industry.
Intensive dairy farming has led to epidemics of "production-related diseases", such as mastitis (udder infections), the leading cause of cow mortality in the US. According to the USDA, 1 in 6 dairy cows in the US suffers from clinical mastitis. Furthermore, dairy milk has been found to contain several alarming hormones including: leptin, oxytocin, prolactin, thyroxine, triiodothyronine, cortisone progesterone, oestrogen and IGF-1 growth hormone.