With a raise in forecasted pork production last week, pork is now on pace to surpass beef for the first time since 1952. Reuters reports that would come at a surprising time, as pork producers in the US are recovering from Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus. As market data would point out, hog weights have increased during that time even as PEDV has killed an estimated eight million piglets. In the monthly World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates, the USDA raised the commercial pork production forecast for 2015 to 23.9 billion pounds. USDA projected 2015 beef output at 23.8 billion pounds, with a marginal upward revision from the September report and a 2.3 percent decline versus last year’s production.
Hogs will become readily available as farms largely unaffected by the virus grow their herds, thanks largely to high-priced hogs and low-cost feed, according to Reuters. On the other hand, it will take at least two years, the time for a calf to reach slaughter weight, before cattle ranchers can expect a turnaround in the U.S. herd from a 63-year low after several years of drought damaged crops.
Source: NAFB News Service