With less than 2 months left in 2015, USDA is projecting commercial pork production for the year at 24.5 billion pounds, a volume 7.3 percent greater than a year ago, when Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PEDv) reduced hog numbers.

The 2015 pork production estimate is 5.7 percent higher than production in 2013, before the significant onset of PEDv.

The annual production forecast incorporates a slightly smaller projection for fourth-quarter production compared with last month’s forecast, due to lower than expected hog slaughter during the quarter.

Fourthquarter commercial pork production is expected to be 6.5 billion pounds, 5.4 percent greater than the same period a year ago. The fourth-quarter price of live equivalent 51-52 percent lean hogs is expected to average $46-$48.

For 2015, hog prices will likely average $50.82. For the first half of 2016, commercial pork production is expected to be nearly equal to the first half of 2015, at 12.1 billion pounds. First-quarter prices are expected to average $48-$50; second-quarter prices will likely average $50-$54.

Source: USDA, Dairy, Livestock and Poultry report, November 2015