North American hog shortfall expected following PEDv, says Rabobank

By Georgi Gyton

- Last updated on GMT

US hog population set to see huge shortfall
US hog population set to see huge shortfall

Related tags Pork Livestock

A significant shortfall in the North American hog market is predicted, following the impact of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) on the population, according to a new report from Rabobank.

It claims the virus has already affected around 60% of the US breeding herd, 28% of the Mexican herd and is beginning to develop in Canada.

If it spreads in Canada and Mexico at the same pace as it has in the US, then North American hog slaughter could fall by nearly 18.5m hogs during 2014 – a 12.5% decline relative to 2013 levels, said the report.

Overall US pork production is anticipated to decline 6-7% – the highest drop in more than 30 years.

William Sawyer, analyst, Rabobank, said: "In the US we see the outbreak of PEDv causing a significant shortfall in the availability of market hogs in 2014 to the tune of 12.5 million hogs or 11% of annual slaughter.

"Given the ever-rising number of PEDv cases reported, coupled with a six-month average lifecycle, the months of August through October are likely to be the tightest for processors, where slaughter could decline by 15%-25% against 2013 levels. If the virus continues at its current rate, the shortfall to US slaughter in 2014 could be as much as 15 million hogs."

According to Rabobank, those hog producers that experience only mild cases of PEDv or none at all, could realise margins of over $60 per head. However, it said the real winner will be the US poultry industry.

"US beef production is forecast to decline by nearly 6% in 2014, which, coupled with Rabobank’s estimate of 6-7% less pork production, implies an exceptional opportunity for the US chicken industry as the protein of last resort,"​ said the report.

Earlier this month the US’ National Pork Board has launched a three-pronged strategy to try and stem the spread of PEDv, with more than $1m of additional funding earmarked for research into stopping the spread of the virus, which was first identified in the US in May 2013.

Related topics Meat

Related news

Follow us


View more