Jose Graziano da Silva, Brazil’s former food security minister, has taken over as director-general of the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization. He says the organization’s top priority will be to make good on the agency’s mandate: eradicate world hunger. Still Silva expects food prices will stay volatile this year and more people around the world will go hungry.
Meanwhile, Purdue University Agricultural Economist Chris Hurt says U.S. hog producers – remain cautious about their future. Hurt notes, this is evidenced by the modest expansion of the breeding herd as reported by USDA at the end of the year. Hurt says modest expansion is a – prudent path to take – until more is known about 2012 crop yields and feed prices.
U.S. exports are expected to remain strong as pork production is expected to rise by 2 to 2.5 percent in 2012. Hurt expects another year of profitability as demand should remain favorable for pork. Current forecasts are for 2012 live hog prices to average about 65-dollars. Costs of production this year are expected to be similar to 2011. However, 2011 profits of around 15-dollars per head are expected to drop to about 10-dollars per head this year.