The hog industry’s return to profitability will be a key point of discussion during Steve Meyer’s market outlook talk during the 2010 World Pork Expo. Meyer will present a complete hog outlook during the June 9 and June 10 educational seminar held from noon to 2:30 p.m. in the Marketing Information Center, located in the upper level of the Varied Industries Building on the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, IA.

Meyer, president of Paragon Economics, Inc. and weekly contributor to National Hog Farmer magazine’s Weekly Preview e-newsletter, predicts slaughter rates will decrease as the year progresses.

But as the market trends upward, Meyer cautions producers to monitor foreign imports, exports and feed costs.

Trade can play a big role in determining U.S. pork prices. “Canadian producers are reducing their supply more quickly than American pork producers,” says Meyer. “Canadian market hog imports are comparable to 2009, but the number of feeder pigs coming south has fallen from last year,” helping reduce U.S. hog inventories and boost prices.

The announcements by China and Russia that they have reopened their markets to U.S. pork are good news – but Meyer predicts it won’t have a big impact on tonnage in the long run. U.S. pork export growth will be dependent on the strength of the U.S. dollar. If the dollar continues to strengthen, higher pork prices will dampen export prospects for 2010.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s forecasts for record-large corn and soybean harvests this fall will have a direct impact in keeping feed costs low. Meyer will also discuss the effect an Environmental Protection Agency ruling in favor of higher ethanol blends would have on pork production costs.

Also during the educational session, Elwynn Taylor, professor of agricultural meteorology at Iowa State University, will present a weather and crop outlook.

Learn more about World Pork Expo at www.worldpork.org.