Good week for both hog and cattle prices

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

US Weekly Hog Outlook, 23rd January 2004 - Weekly review of the US hog industry, written by Glen Grimes and Ron Plain.

Need a Product or service?
Animal Health Products
Swine Breeders and Genetics
Pig, Hog Feed and Ingredients
Swine manure, waste and odor
Pig, Hog and Swine Books
Ron Plain
Ron Plain

This has been a good week for both hog and cattle prices. Cash hog prices live were $2.50 to 4.00 per cwt higher this Friday than last Friday. The top prices live for select markets were: Peoria $37.50 per cwt, St. Paul $41, Sioux Falls $41 and interior Missouri $39.25.

The average prices of 185-pound carcasses with 0.9-1.1 inch-back fat 6-sq-inch loin 2 inches deep were up $4.25 to 4.87 per cwt by area. These prices Friday morning were: western Cornbelt $55.83 per cwt, eastern Cornbelt $53.85, Iowa-Minnesota $55.99 and nation $55.17. These prices were pulled up by demand with pork prices showing gains for the week on loins $4.50 per cwt and Boston butts up $7.00 per cwt. However, ham prices lost $5.00 per cwt and bellies were down $0.50 per cwt this Friday compared to 7 days earlier.

These stronger prices occurred even with slaughter continuing well above last year. Slaughter under Federal Inspection was estimated at 2037 thousand head for the week--up 7.3% from a year earlier. For the past 4 weeks, slaughter has been up 5.5 percent--well above expectations based on the December Hogs and Pigs report. The bad news is that loin prices lost $6.50 per cwt from the noon Thursday price to the noon Friday price. The odds appear high that we have run prices about as high as are likely until we reduce slaughter some more.

Demand continues to be stronger than 12 months earlier. With the 7.3% larger slaughter this week than a year earlier, cash prices are $3.50 to 5.00 per cwt above this week in 2003.

Loins with a ¼-inch trim were $29.50 per cwt above a year earlier, Boston butts with ¼-inch trim were $20.00 per cwt higher, and ham and loins about the same price as last year with ham lower and bellies higher.

Retail pork prices in December declined 1.5% from November but still were 2.8% above a year earlier. With pork production in the fourth quarter 4.5% above last year, retail pork prices were still 3.8% above the same quarter in 2003.

The good news is that live hog prices in the fourth quarter were up nearly 18% from 12 months earlier. Most of the higher retail pork prices were bid into live hog prices. The total marketing margin in the fourth quarter was up 0.6% with the processor-retail margin up 2.3% and the packer margin down 5.9% according to USDA.

Cash feeder pig prices were basically steady with 2 weeks ago this week at United Producers Tel-O-Auction. Light weight pigs were a little lower, and heavier weight pigs were a little higher with 40-70 pound pigs all selling for $75.50-77.50 per cwt.

The market for early-weaned pigs is quite strong with prices $30-33 per head.

5m Editor