Slaughter Down, Weights up, Prices Firm

US Weekly Hog Outlook, 19th September 2003 - Weekly review of the US hog industry, written by Glen Grimes and Ron Plain.
calendar icon 20 September 2003
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Cash hog prices held basically steady for the terminal markets and interior markets were up $2.26 to $3.87 per cwt in carcass.

Slaughter for September will probably be off around 5 percent from a year earlier. This suggests the possibility of being down in slaughter for September by about 7 percent from domestic farms. Current slaughter in the U.S. is being increased over 2 percent a week by larger imports of feeder pigs and slaughter hogs. For the week ending September 6, our Federally Inspected slaughter was increased by 1.3 percent from a larger number of slaughter hog imports from Canada.

The September 1 Hogs and Pigs report will be released on September 26. Our estimate is for the total herd to be down 3 percent, breeding herd down 2 percent and market herd down 3 percent.

Live weights for barrows and gilts in Iowa and Minnesota for the week ending September 13 averaged 257.9 pounds---up 0.8 pounds from a week earlier and up 1.4 pounds from a year earlier. Even with the cooler weather for June, July and early August than in 2002, we believe marketings are not as current at the current time as a year earlier.

The top live prices on Friday morning for select markets were: Peoria $40, St. Paul $41.50, Sioux Falls $42 and interior Missouri $40.75.

The average carcass prices for a 185-pound carcass with 0.9-1.1-inch back fat, 6 square inch loin 2 inches deep by area were: western Cornbelt $60.01, eastern Cornbelt $59.13, Iowa-Minnesota $60.05 and nation $59.78.

Slaughter was impacted in mid to late week by the hurricane that hit North Carolina on Thursday. Some of the lost slaughter of mid to late week will be done on Saturday, if possible.

Slaughter under Federal Inspection for the week was estimated at 1972 thousand head---down 5.1 percent from a year earlier.

Feeder pig prices at United Producers tel-o-auction this week were $10-20 per cwt higher than 2 weeks ago. All of the pigs this week moved directly from the selling farm to the buying farm. These prices by weight groups were: 40-50# $67.00 per cwt, 50-60# $69.00, 60-70# $60.00 and 70-80# $51.50.

Retail pork prices in August were up 1.6 percent from July and up 1.5 percent from August of a year earlier. However, for the year through August, retail pork prices were down 1.9 percent from the same months in 2002.

Live hog prices on a negotiated basis for January-August were up 7.7 percent from a year earlier. All of the increase in live hog prices plus some came from narrower marketing margins, which were down nearly 5 percent for the first 8 months compared to 2002.

Pork loin prices at the retail level continued at the lowest price in August since 1989. Loin prices for this Friday were down $3.20 per cwt from a week earlier at $116.80 per cwt. However, Boston butts were up $4.00 per cwt at $83.00 per cwt, hams were up $8.50 per cwt at $68 per cwt, and bellies were up $5 per cwt at $87 per cwt.

We certainly hope the indicated stronger demand for live hogs during the past two weeks is carrying through to the retail level. The hurricane of this week on the East Coast was probably a little negative to all meat demand.

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