First-quarter 2014 pork production was 5.785 billion pounds, just slightly ahead of first quarter a year ago.
While the effects of PEDv were apparent in the 2.6 percent year-over-year reduction in first-quarter commercial hog slaughter, sharply increased dressed weights, averaging 213.2 pounds per head, more than offset the reduction in the number of animals slaughtered, resulting in a 0.2 percent year-overyear production increase.
Second-quarter pork production, forecast at almost 5.4 billion pounds, is expected to fall more than 2 percent below the same period last year.
The expected reduction in second-quarter production reflects piglet losses from PEDv late last year. Second-quarter hog prices are expected to average $84- $86 per cwt, almost 30 percent above a year ago. For 2014, pork production is expected to be 22.7 billion pounds, 2.3 percent below 2013.
Higher average dressed weights are expected to continue to limit production losses from reduced slaughter numbers this year.