Pork Producer Returns Seen Improving

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Pork producers, like cattle feeders, can welcome the new year with a little more optimism about their financial returns, according to a Kansas State University agricultural economist.
calendar icon 8 January 2003
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After seeing an average loss of about $14 per head on hogs leaving Kansas segregated-early-weaning [SEW] nursery-to-finishing operations in October, and $11 losses in November, returns looked somewhat better, but were likely still negative in December, said Rodney Jones, who is a livestock production specialist with K-State Research and Extension.

"Returns should continue to improve into early 2003, as lean hog prices recover from their fall lows," Jones said. "Break-evens for average nursery-to-finish producers will average in the upper $30s per hundredweight [cwt] on a live-weight basis for the next several months, before increasing to the low $40s as higher-priced weaned pigs work their way through the system by March and April of 2003."

Average farrow-to-finish producers currently are seeing break-even prices in the low $40s [per cwt] on a live-weight basis and futures-based price forecasts suggest that producers will see positive net returns early in 2003, as well, he said.

Source: Kansas State University - 7th January 2003

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