Projections made by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS) show that a 2.7% decrease is expected in pork production in the first quarter of 2009, in comparison to one year ago.
In its ‘Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook’, prices of live equivalent 51-52% lean hogs are expected to average US $42 to $44 per hundredweight (cwt), about 8.5% higher than first quarter a year ago. The decrease in production is causing these prices to go up.
Both domestic and foreign consumer demand however, is expected to be extremely volatile. This year, US exports are expected to be about 15% lower than in 2008.
US pork imports will likely fall about 2.5% this year, from 2008 levels.
Live swine imports this year are expected to be 7.2 million head, almost 23% below imports in 2008.