US meat processor Smithfield Foods has warned that low prices of fresh pork will impact its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings, causing them to fall short of analysts’ expectations.

Both Smithfield and rival Tyson Foods have been hit recently by a glut of meat on the market, which has led to low prices.

Smithfield has forecast earnings of between 3 cents and 5 cents per diluted share for the quarter to 27 April, compared to analysts’ average estimates of 10 cents a share, reported Reuters.

“Fresh pork prices have been under severe pressure due to the excess supply of all proteins in the marketplace, resulting in reduced profitability in the company’s Meat Processing Group,” Smithfield said in a statement.

The company said its hog production operations should return to profitability in the first quarter of fiscal 2004.