Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) continues to make news around the world. Five stories this week looked at the topic of PEDV from a variety of different angles.
1. Animal Health Officials Predict that Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV) will Subside by the End of 2014.
The head of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) says he is confident that PEDV will be controllable, likely by the end of the year. OIE Director General Bernard Vallat told Reuters  that he believes PEDV will subside as soon as the causes of the disease can be properly identified so that effective precautions can be put in place. This Reuters article also indicates that PEDV has wiped out more than 10 percent of the U.S. pig population and could cut overall production by as much as 7 percent by the end of 2014.
“Vallat expects the disease to stabilize in the United States after a first wave mainly hit so-called ‘naïve’ herds which had not been previously exposed to the virus and had not developed antibodies.”
2. Bacon Helps Boost Hormel Earnings, but Lower Hog Supplies Mean Reduced Shifts at the Packing Plant.
Hormel Foods Corporation announced record group sales in the second quarter of 2014. Global Meat News  reports retail sales of Hormel’s Black Label bacon helped push up sales by 10% in the Refrigerated Foods division. Hormel bacon toppings delivered sales growth that helped the Grocery Products division post a 16% increase in operating profit and 26% increase in volume. However, the impact of PEDV on hog supplies seems to be the reason behind a reduction in packing plant shifts in coming days.
“The firm announced that due to ‘lower than anticipated hog supplies’ it would be cutting slaughter operations to four days a week at its Fremont site in Nebraska from next month.”
3. Heavy Hogs are Expected to Help Tyson Foods Weather PEDV Storm.
Tyson Foods, Inc. executives say the PEDV-related gap in production in some hog operations means producers are able to retain their hogs longer in order to put more weight on before sending them to market. Steve Stouffer, president of fresh meats for Tyson Foods, Inc. is quoted in a MeatPoultry.com story explaining that the company is seeing an offset on the percentage decline in the number of head being marketed because of the increased pounds of pork coming to market as hogs are held to heavier weights.
“Calling the outbreak of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) in the United states the ‘disease du jour,’ executives with Tyson Foods, Inc. said heavier hogs coming to market will help the company get through the supply challenges that are expected to occur during the second half of the year.”
4. Mexico’s Veterinary Service Tests for PEDV in Wake of Unusual Piglet Deaths, Finds Outbreaks.
After receiving word of unusual piglet deaths, particularly in the central-western part of Mexico, the country’s official veterinary services started testing for PEDV. A total of 2,309 samples were tested between August 2013 and May 2014. Global Meat News reports on findings to date.
“There have been a total of 83 outbreaks of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) in Mexico since July 2013, according to the latest update from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).”
5. Will Pork Exports Overcome the Impact of PEDV on Hog Markets?
In the May 22, 2014 issue of the Daily Livestock Report , Steve Meyer, Paragon Economics, Adel, IA, speculates that export demand will be a key driver for the pork market during the summer. He believes this trend will be something that market participants will likely pay close attention to as they assess the overall demand trends in the face of shrinking pork supplies due to PEDV.
“We think part of the reason for the high prices paid for pork in March was due to the ramp-up in exports. Based on the monthly USDA pork export report, March shipments of fresh/frozen pork were up 27% from a year ago, and the largest monthly volume since October 2012.”
Read more about pork export numbers and the impact on pork demand by subscribing to the Daily Livestock Report at http://www.dailylivestockreport.com/ .