Seaboard Corporation’s pork segment narrowed losses in 2009  to $15 million from a loss of $46 million in 2008, according to The company attributed lower feed costs for the result.

The Shawnee Mission, Kan.-based firm also attributes the cost reductions to the use of the last in, first out method of determining inventory costs and lower costs of third-party hogs. LIFO upped operating results by nearly $18 million in 2009 versus a decrease of $17.2 million in 2008, the company said in its annual report.

Net sales declined for 2009 primarily due to a decrease in overall sales prices for pork products. Seaboard said the decrease in prices likely stemmed from excess supplies that resulted from the H1N1 outbreak and related bans last spring.

The decrease in sales prices was partially offset by higher volumes of pork exports made possible by expansion in daily capacity at the company’s Guymon, Okla., processing plant in the first quarter of 2008, the company said.

"Management anticipates this segment's results to improve to profitable levels in 2010 as sales prices for pork products begin to increase as long as costs, such as the price of corn used for feed, do not increase significantly," the company said.