Record pork production will push hog prices lower into next year, livestock economist Steve Meyer said last week at the World Pork Expo in Des Moines. He urged producers to take advantage of pricing opportunities in futures markets, even though they’re not as attractive as earlier this year.

“We think it’s time to play defense on marketing hogs,” said Meyer, a pork market analyst for Kerns and Associates in Ames. “Protect the gains you’ve been able to build up the last few years. We think there’s a lot more downside risk than upside.”

He’s projecting hog prices in the mid-$70s per hundredweight through the summer, then falling below $60 on seasonal weakness in the fourth quarter. Adam Speck of Informa Economics sees the same price pattern from October through December.

“It’s going to be a...