Slaughter-ready hogs in the major Midwest markets this year will probably average $58 to $61 per hundred pounds, up from $55.06 last year, Shagam said during a Feb. 25 address at the USDA’s annual Agricultural Outlook Forum in Arlington, Va. This year’s average may top the current annual record of $58.78 set in 1982, Shagam said.
U.S. pork producers will continue to benefit from a resurgent export market as the global economy gains strength and the dollar remains relatively weak, Shagam said. An outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in South Korea’s livestock herd, which forced the slaughter of about one-third of the country’s cattle and hogs, will further fuel exports.
In 2011, pork exports will rise an estimated 11 percent, to 4.68 billion pounds, following a 3-percent increase in 2010, Shagam said. The projected total would top the current record set in 2008.