Relax, the Great Bacon Shortage of 2012 Is a Myth
High feed prices mean more pork, not less.
On the other hand, those "moving parts" Hackett mentioned make the livestock market notoriously difficult to predict.
"If feed prices fall quickly, farmers may go back and start increasing their herd sizes again," he says. "And you can do it pretty quickly with hogs -- it's a six-month cycle, unlike cattle, which is a two year cycle."
Of course, hog farmers will also have to contend with the USDA's estimate that overall meat production will be roughly 12% less in 2012 than it was in 2007, signaling a structural shift in the way people eat -- as well as something for large retailers like Safeway (NYSE:SWY), Kroger (NYSE:KR), and Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM) to consider very seriously.
All-in-all, bacon-eaters can relax. Here's Hackett again:
"To say that a bacon shortage could reach a dire level, there's just no way you could make that conclusion, not at all."
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