Pork exports for February were up nearly 28%

by 5m Editor
17 April 2004, at 12:00am

US Weekly Hog Outlook, 16th April 2004 - Weekly review of the US hog industry, written by Glen Grimes and Ron Plain.

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All of the increase in commercial slaughter in February was due to increased slaughter hog imports from Canada. Slaughter hog imports from Canada during February were up nearly 86% from 2003.

Total hog imports from Canada in February were up over 49% and feeder pig imports were up nearly 36%.

Total live hog imports from Canada for January and February were up over 48% from 12 months earlier. Feeder pig imports for these 2 months were up over 36% and slaughter imports were up nearly 78% from a year earlier.

The real good news is that pork exports for February were up nearly 28% from February of 2003. Japan increased their imports from us by nearly 11%, Canada was up over 26%, and Mexico was up a whopping 76% in their pork purchases from the U.S. in February compared to 12 months earlier.

For January and February total pork exports were up over 21%. The probabilities are very high for pork exports to set a record high for the 13th consecutive year in 2004 and 14th consecutive year for increases compared to a year earlier.

For January and February pork exports from the U.S. to Japan were up over 4%, to Canada over 32%, and to Mexico 77%. No question a portion of the very impressive demand growth for the 1st quarter of 2004 from a year earlier can be attributed to pork exports. Net exports of production for January and February increased by 2 percentage points from a year earlier.

Pork exports in January-February of 2004 accounted for 9.7% of our production compared to 8.2% in 2003 and the 6% reduction in pork imports contributed to the 2% net export growth for these 2 months of 2004 compared to 12 months earlier.

There is a good possibility that pork exports have contributed 1/3 or more to the excellent pork demand during the first 2 months of 2004 compared to the same months in 2003.

As indicated earlier pork imports for the U.S. for January and February were down 6%. Most of the decrease was from Canada. A significant portion of the decrease in pork imports from Canada was due to the larger slaughter hogs from Canada so far this year compared to last year.

When all of the live slaughter hog imports from Canada are considered we did not increase our net exports for January and February.

This has been a great week in the hog industry for price. Live hog prices this Friday morning were up $1.50 to $5.00 from a week earlier. The top live prices for this Friday morning for these markets were: Peoria $_44 per cwt, St. Paul $45, Sioux Falls $46, and interior Missouri $44.50.

The average carcass price for 185# carcass, with 0.9-1.1" back fat 6 sq in loin 2" deep were up $3.25 to $4.62 this Friday morning compared to seven days earlier. These prices this Friday morning by area were: western Cornbelt $63.49, eastern Cornbelt $64.53, Iowa-Minnesota $63.60, and nation $63.69.

Pork product prices for the week were mixed but showed more gains than losses. Pork loins with ¼" trim at $119.25 per cwt this Friday noon were up $5.92 per cwt for the week. Boston butts with ¼" were up $9.43 per cwt for the 7 days at $94.43 per cwt. Hams weighing 17-20# were steady at $49 per cwt, and 14-16# bellies at $102 per cwt were down around $12 for the week. 14-16# bellies were not quoted on Friday last week but Thursday of last week they were $114 per cwt.

Retail pork prices for March were up 0.2% from February of 2004 and up 3% from a year earlier. For the first quarter of this year retail pork prices were up 3.2% from 2003.

Slaughter under Federal Inspection was estimated at 1,978 thousand head---up 5.4% from a year earlier.

Feeder pig prices this week at United Tel-O-Auction were steady to a little higher than 2 weeks ago. The prices per cwt for different weight groups this week at United were: 40-50# $101 per cwt, 50-60# $91-109, 60-70# $88-109.50, and 70-80# $77-81.

5m Editor