Pork Production Keeps Rising, Prices Stabilizing

by 5m Editor
12 October 2009, at 10:43am

US - Increased pork production drove higher estimates for total meat production for 2009, as calculated by the USDA in its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report. Growing levels of pork production more than offset cuts in beef and turkey production.

The higher pork production figures are due mainly to higher third-quarter slaughter and higher weights, due to favorable summer weather. Export figures, which were lowered from last month's report, were left unchanged in the October figures.

Meanwhile, price projections remained stable at $39.69 per hundredweight for barrows and gilts (national base, live equivalent, 51 percent to 52 percent lean). Last month, USDA's projection was between $39 and $40 per hundredweight for barrows and gilts, reports

Looking ahead to 2010, however, USDA expects pork production to finally drop, as the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report, released in September, indicated that producers plan to farrow fewer sows in 2009 and 2010. Also, fewer hogs are expected to be imported from Canada. Beef production in 2010 is expected to be higher, due to larger feedlot placement in 2009, but not enough to offset cuts in pork and turkey production for the year.

Still, 2010 price projections for barrows and gilts remained stable, with an expected range of between $43 and $46 per hundredweight, compared with $43-to-$47 per hundredweight estimated in last month's report.