Market Overview

High Feed Prices Expected to Trim Pork Production reports IberSano


(EMAILWIRE.COM, October 28, 2012 ) San Francisco, CA- Farmers are warning of a global shortage of bacon and pork caused by historic droughts in Russia and the United States.

U.S. farmers say that production will be reduced because of rising feed costs, and Britains National Pig Association predicts that shortfalls next year will be unavoidable.

The Guardian reports dwindling numbers of swine throughout Europe. Farmers in Germany, the biggest pork producer in Europe, reduced their herds 1.3% in June compared with a year earlier; Irelands farmers cut back 6.6%, and in Denmark, herds have decreased 2.3%.

Bacon in the United States costs more now than it did in 2006, said Steve Meyer of Paragon Economics and a National Pork Producers Council adviser.

Its not that people dont want to eat pork, Meyer told the Guardian, its just that they increasingly cant afford to.

Annual pork consumption per person is expected to fall to 44.16 pounds in 2013 from 50.8 pounds in 2007.

Weve been warning about this for years, Meyer said. Now that we are talking about bacon, weve really got everyones attention.

Surging corn and soy prices, caused by the drought this year, have affected pork producers. The cost to produce 100 pounds of pork has been rising, Meyer said. It was $52.76 in 1999-2006 but he expects it to surpass $100 in 2013.

The high cost of feed has been worsened by a U.S. mandate that 10% of the countrys fuel must be made from ethanol, which is based on corn.

The U.S. ethanol subsidy and high prices have a global impact, according to Zoe Davies, the National Pig Associations general manager. Farmers are slaughtering more pigs, intending to get out of pork production. She expects 35,000 sows will have been killed early by the end of the year.

The market will sort this out, Davies told the Guardian. People will go out of business, there will be less pork products and prices will rise.

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Roger Frank


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