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Live hog prices $2 higher than a week earlier

by 5m Editor
13 March 2004, at 12:00am

US Weekly Hog Outlook, 13th March 2004 - Weekly review of the US hog industry, written by Glen Grimes and Ron Plain.

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Live hog imports from Canada during January were up 47.7% from January in 2003. Feeder pig imports were up 36.8% and slaughter hog imports were up 72.2% from January a year earlier.

The larger slaughter imports amounted to about 1.5% of our Federally Inspected slaughter. However, slaughter on a weekly basis for 2004 through this week has been up over 3.2%. Therefore a short half of the increase in slaughter this year so far has probably been due to larger slaughter hog imports from Canada.

Pork exports for January this year were up 14.7% from 2003. Our biggest pork buyer, Japan, reduced their purchases by 2.2% but Canada bought nearly 39% more pork from the U.S. than 12 months earlier and Mexico increase their imports from the U.S. by nearly 78% in January 2004 compared to a year earlier.

Mexico pork imports from the U.S. in December and January this year were up 65.5% from a year earlier. Our increase in pork exports in January accounted for about 1.2 percentage points of our increase in demand. However, this accounts for only one quarter to one third of our increase in live hog demand for January. Therefore, domestic demand for pork and live hogs in the U.S. is very strong with a growth from a year earlier that does not occur very often.

Pork imports by the U.S. in January 2004 were down 1% from a year earlier. This has also been a plus for hog prices the first month of 2004. However, broiler exports for January this year were down 13.5% from 12 months earlier, which has increased the domestic meat supply.

Live hog prices ended the week steady to $2 higher from a week earlier. Top live prices for select markets this Friday morning were: Peoria $42.50, St. Paul $45.50, Sioux Falls $46.00 and interior Missouri $44.50.

The weighted price for 185# carcasses with 0.9-1.1 inch-back-fat, 6 square-inch-loin 2 inches deep were $0.10 higher to $0.39 higher than a week earlier this Friday morning. The carcass price by region for Friday morning were: western Cornbelt $62.60, eastern Cornbelt $63.59, Iowa-Minnesota $62.83 and nation $63.18.

Pork product prices this Friday at noon were $0.86 lower to $6.67 higher from last Friday. These prices this Friday were: Loins with quarter-inch-trim $109.00, Boston butts with quarter-inch-trim $74.00, 17-20# hams $61.67 and 14-16# bellies $104.00 per pound.

Hog slaughter started out low this week, but ended the week at 1938 thousand head under Federal Inspection --- up 1.9% from a year earlier, but down 1.2% from last week.

If the larger slaughter imports from Canada are still accounting for about 1.5% of our slaughter; slaughter is now quite consistent with the December marketing inventories.

For last week, live hog weights in Iowa-Minnesota were 3 pounds above a year earlier at an average weight 266.3 pounds. However, average carcass weights for barrows and gilts under Federal Inspection at 196 pounds for the week ending February 28 were the same as that week in 2003. The carcass weights suggest marketing are current with a year earlier.

5m Editor