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U.S. Meatpackers May Kill Fewer Hogs Than Forecast

University of Missouri livestock economist Ron Plain reduced his forecast for the U.S. hog slaughter in 2011 because of rising feed costs.

Meatpackers will process 110.2 million hogs next year, up 0.5 percent from an estimated 109.6 million in 2010, Plain said today in an interview in Chicago. Plain, who works at the university’s Columbia campus, said that he had forecast a 1.1 percent increase.

Corn is “no longer cheap,” Plain said. The cost of the grain has surged 38 percent this year. Hog kills still will increase because the industry remains profitable, he said

“We made good money this year,” Plain said. “It’s going to be a profitable year, so we’re going to have a few more hogs next year.”

Hogs in Iowa and Minnesota will range from $73 to $76 per carcass hundredweight, Plain said. The negotiated base price will be $73 per carcass hundredweight in 2010, he said.

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