US - The average live slaughter weight of barrows and gilts in Iowa-Minnesota last week was 284.7 pounds, up 0.1 pound from the week before and up 0.5 pound from a year ago, write Ron Plain and Scott Brown, Ag Economics, MU.
This is only the second week in the last 11 months in which Iowa-Minnesota slaughter weights have been above the year-ago level.
This week's hog slaughter was 2.225 million head, up 0.6 per cent from last week and up 0.5 per cent from the same week last year. Since December 1, hog slaughter has been just slightly above the level implied by the December hog inventory survey. USDA's recent inventory estimates have usually been close to the mark.
USDA's next Hogs and Pigs report will be released on Friday March 25. Hogs have been unprofitable in recent months indicating we may see a decline in the breeding herd. Sow and gilt slaughter has been up slightly thus far in 2016, but the increase is less than the increase in barrow and gilt slaughter. If producers are cutting the herd, it is likely a modest cutback.
It was a quiet week in the hog market with hog prices a bit lower than last week. The national negotiated barrow and gilt price averaged $61.21/cwt on the morning report today, down 20 cents from last Friday morning. The western corn belt averaged $61.87/cwt. There were no regional negotiated price quotes this morning for the eastern corn belt or for Iowa-Minnesota.
The top price today at Peoria was $37/cwt, down $1 from last Friday. The top price for interior Missouri live hogs today was $42.75/cwt, down $1.50 from a week ago.
Friday morning's pork cutout value was $75.44/cwt FOB the plants. That is up $1.16 from the week before and up $6.86 from a year ago. Loin, ham and belly prices were each higher this week.
This morning's national negotiated hog price was 81.1 per cent of the cutout value.
The April hog futures contract ended the week at $70.80/cwt, down 5 cents from the week before. May hogs gained 40 cents this week to close at $77.325/cwt. The June lean hog futures contract ended the week at $81.225/cwt, up 38 cents from the preceding week. July hogs closed at $80.875/cwt.
The March corn futures contract settled at $3.545 per bushel today. That is unchanged from last Friday.
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