US - The average retail price of pork was $3.76 per pound in March. That was up 2.2 cents from the month before, but down 11.4 cents from a year ago. March grocery store prices for pork were the second lowest since June. The March average price for bacon at retail was $5.494 per pound. Boneless pork chops averaged $4.146/lb and boneless hams averaged $4.07/lb, write Ron Plain and Scott Brown, Ag Economics, MU.
The average live price of 51-52% lean slaughter hogs was $46.95/cwt in March. That was 34 cents higher than the month before and $1.34 higher than in March 2015.
The final livestock slaughter numbers for 2015 were released this week. Commercial hog slaughter totaled 115,425,200 head, up 8% from the year before, but 0.9% below the record set in 2008. Commercial pork production was a record 24.5013 billion pounds. That was 7.3% more than the year before and 5.4% more than the old record set in 2012. The average dressed weight for barrows and gilts in 2015 was 210 pounds, down 2 pounds from the year before.
USDA's weekly Crop Progress report says that 13% of corn acres have been planted. That compares to 4% a week ago and 7% on this date last year. The five year average is 8% planted by April 17.
Cash hog prices were higher this week. The national negotiated barrow and gilt carcass price averaged $65.32/cwt on Thursday, up $3.16 from a week earlier and up $2.32 from a year ago. The national negotiated barrow and gilt price averaged $63.78/cwt on the morning report today, up $3.28 from a week earlier. There were no regional negotiated price quotes this morning for the eastern corn belt, western corn belt, or Iowa-Minnesota.
The top hog price today at Peoria was $40/cwt, up $2 from last Friday. The top price for interior Missouri live hogs was $44.25/cwt, up $1.50 from a week ago.
Friday morning's pork cutout value was $78.67/cwt FOB the plants. That is up 45 cents from the week before and up $9.29 from a year ago. Loin and ham prices were higher this week; but bellies were sharply lower. This morning's national negotiated hog price was 81.1% of the cutout value.
This week's hog slaughter was 2.241 million head, up 2.0% from last week and up 3.5% from the same week last year.
The average slaughter weight of barrows and gilts in Iowa-Minnesota last week was 284.1 pounds, down 0.3 pound from the week before, but up 0.6 pound from a year ago.
The May hog futures contract gained $1.30 this week to close at $75.70/cwt. The June lean hog futures contract ended the week at $78.825/cwt, up $1.20 from the preceding Friday. Today, July hogs settled at $79.475/cwt.
The May corn futures contract settled at $3.7175 per bushel today. That is down 6.75 cents from last week. July corn ended the week at $3.755/bu., down 6.5 cents from last Friday.
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