U.S. pork production to be reduced

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Lower imports of Canadian slaughter hogs and lower average dressed weights prompting USDA to reduce its 2008 and 2009 forecasts.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook report reduced its 2008 commercial pork production forecast by 100 million pounds, to 23.4 billion pounds, 6.6% above production last year. The production forecast for next year was lowered by 235 million pounds, to 22.7 billion pounds, 2.9% below 2008.

Pig live imports from Canada for April show a year-over-year decline of nearly 2%. Weekly import data for May issued by USDA show a reduction of almost 14% compared with May of last year.

Imports of hogs for immediate slaughter weighing more than 110 pounds were almost 15% lower than a year ago. For May, slaughter hog imports were almost 40% below May 2007.

In 2008 U.S. meat processors and packers are expected to import about 1.2% fewer pigs than in 2007. This tendency is also expected to continue in 2009.

Apart from this, U.S. pork producers might market hogs at lower weights due to higher feed costs. Thus, lower dressed weights and lower live imports will reduce pork production and contribute to higher hog prices.