USDA's World Outlook Board lowered its forecast for total U.S. meat production earlier this month and according to board chairman Gerry Bange, decreased pork production has been a major factor.
"We now expect more port to come in from Canada," Banges says. "What's going to happen is with Country of Origin Labeling, is we think that more hogs will be killed in Canada and sent down here as pork versus coming down here as hogs."
Canada's inventory of hogs is also lower, which Bange says will have an impact on pork exports.
"We've taken our export forecast down to 4.5 billion pounds," says Bange. "That's a decrease of 600 million pounds from our previous forecast and it reflects among other things a strong dollar and reflects especially with regards to exports to Mexico and also reflects reduced prospects to China."
The weaker export forecast has lead to a reduction in the pork price forecast for 2008-2009.