Published commentary about the pigmeat industry by pundits including MLC economists and BPEX manager Mick Sloyan has become steadily more pessimistic. This is despite the substantial recovery in slaughterhouse throughputs, now 95% of what would have been normal' had FMD not happened. MLC analysts, writing in their latest Market Outlook, predict a small but artificial increase in the breeding herd next year and warn "the underlying trend" will be of continuing decline. Even assuming FMD can be prevented from infecting the pig herd on a major scale, the other wasting diseases PMWS and PDNS are now regarded as likely to post at least equally serious threats to the industry. {{M/E MEAT }}