Pork outlook profitable, may benefit from avian flu
There has been no push or pull with avian influenza in supplying protein to the consumer market, although pork may benefit during the holiday season.
“Avian influenza has not had an impact of any degree on the meat sector yet,” said Steve Meyer, Ph.D., vice president, pork analysis, Express Markets Inc. Analytics, at the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) press conference at the 2015 World Pork Expo. “It’s had huge impacts on the egg sector. On the meat side, the only real thing that has happened is that we’ve lost about 2.5 percent of the turkeys. We are going to have some positive influence on ham prices as we go into the holidays, because there aren’t going to be as many turkeys available this fall."
Despite a disappointing first quarter, Meyer forecasts a good outlook for pork in the rest of 2015: “I think producers will be profitable, even on the cash market, for the rest of this year."
“We see robust growth in this herd,” said Meyer. “This corn crop and bean crop are about as normal as can be as far as planting time and conditions. Right now, my judgement is we are a decent rain in July and a decent rain in August away from having very large crops once again. Feed costs are going to be low. Everything points to expansion."
Concerns for the pork industry in the future, according to Meyer, are the rate of herd growth and what will happen to the porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus in the winter of 2015-2016.