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Cash hog prices continue to show substantially stronger demand

by 5m Editor
10 January 2004, at 12:00am

US Weekly Hog Outlook, 9th January 2004 - Weekly review of the US hog industry, written by Glen Grimes and Ron Plain.

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Cash hog prices continue to show a substantially stronger demand than a year earlier. For the second week ending in January of 2003, live hog prices were at $29-30 and carcass prices for 185-pound carcasses with 0.9-1.1-inch backfat, 6-square-inch loin 2 inches deep were at $40-41. With nearly a 4 percent larger slaughter in number of head and heavier average weights this week than in 2003, live hog prices are $4-5 per cwt higher and carcass prices are about $9 per cwt higher.

Average live weights of barrows and gilts for the week ending January 3 increased 2.6 pounds per head from a week earlier and were 2.1 pounds heavier than a year earlier. However, average barrow and gilt carcass weights for the week ending December 27 were at 196 pounds, the same as a year earlier. This is the first time weights of carcasses have been the same since May of 2003. At this time, we cannot identify any change in pork demand because of finding the one cow in Washington state with BSE. However, we are probably just now getting significant changes in beef prices at the retail level because of this event.

The above statement is probably true in total; but at one retail store in Columbia, choice beef strip steaks were over $2 per pound lower than they were in early December during midweek this week. However, at another store, select strip steaks were basically the same this week during midweek as in early December.

Japan sent a team this week to visit the U.S. and Canada about the safeguards now in place in both the U.S. and Canada to protect against people getting the human form of BSE from eating beef from the U.S. or Canada. Negotiations are also taking place with Mexico about removing the ban on U.S. beef.

Being as the DNA test indicated that the cow in Washington state was from Canada, hopefully the ban on imports to both Japan and Mexico will not last very long.

Live hog prices were basically steady with the end of last week, but carcass prices were higher than seven days earlier, especially in the eastern Cornbelt.

Live top prices this Friday morning at select markets were: Peoria $36.00, St. Paul $36.50, Sioux Falls $36.00 and interior Missouri $33.25. The average weighted prices for a 185-pound carcass with 0.9-1.1-inches of backfat, 6-square-inch loin 2 inches deep by area this Friday morning were: western Cornbelt $49.35, eastern Cornbelt $50.18, Iowa-Minnesota $49.36 and nation $49.72.

Slaughter of hogs this week under Federal Inspection was estimated at 2005 thousand head---up 4.0 percent from a year earlier. Feeder pig prices have started the winter rally. Prices this week at United Producers Tel-o-auction were substantially higher than in mid-December. These prices by weight groups were: 40-50# $80 per cwt, 50-60# $80, 60-70# $60.50-$76, 70-80# $59.50-$66 and 80# plus $56.50-$58.

5m Editor