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Hog slaughter continues to seem quite large

by 5m Editor
19 June 2004, at 12:00am

US Weekly Hog Outlook, 18th June 2004 - Weekly review of the US hog industry, written by Glen Grimes and Ron Plain.

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Ron Plain
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Hog slaughter continues to seem quite large. Slaughter this week under Federal Inspection was estimated at 1896 thousand head - up 5.7% from the same week last year.

Slaughter for the past 4 weeks has been up nearly 5% from a year earlier. Increased numbers of slaughter hogs imported from Canada added about 1% to our slaughter during April. Trade reports are that Smithfield has pulled marketings forward during the last several weeks due to high feed prices. This action has added some to the slaughter but probably not over 0.2-0.3 percent.

Hog slaughter in recent weeks is running close to our expectations based on the March Hogs and Pigs after adjusting for the larger slaughter imports from Canada.

Slaughter under Federal Inspection on June 3 at over 398 thousand head was the 12th largest daily slaughter of record - and this is June.

We hope these record high slaughter levels are mostly evening out slaughter seasonally. Prior to 2004, we had never has a slaughter above 390 thousand head in a day under Federal Inspection in February, March, April, May, June, July, or August. So far this year we had 6 days above 390 thousand in February, 1 day in March, 4 days in April, 0 days in May, and 3 in June. This year is also the 1st time we have slaughtered over 1.9 million head a week in June.

The June 1 Hogs and Pigs Report will be released on June 25th. Our estimates are for a total herd up 2% market herd up 3% and a breeding herd down 2% from a year earlier.

If these estimates are fairly accurate, it means we will have large slaughter on a daily or weekly basis than in 2003 through the remainder of the year. Demand hang in there the industry needs you badly.

Pork exports for the 1st four months of 2004 were up nearly 30% from a year earlier. Japanese purchases increased some up nearly 14% from a year earlier in April but were up only 8.5% for January - April. However, our sales to Canada for the 1st four months of 2004 were up nearly 30% and Mexico was up a whopping 92% for these four months compared to 2003.

Unless we have some kind of disease that reduces exports, the probabilities are near 100% that 2004 will be the 13th consecutive year of record pork exports. April exports amounted to nearly 11% of our production.

Live hog imports from Canada continue well above a year earlier. For January-April, total live imports from our neighbor to the north were up almost 44%, feeder pig exports were up 31.5% and slaughter imports were up 76.4% from 2003.

Most pork product prices declined some this week. Loins with ¼" trim at $129.71 per cwt were down $7.16, Boston butts with ¼" trim were up $8.00 per cwt at $106.00 per cwt, 17-20# hams at $62.30 per cwt at were down $2.50 per cwt and 14-16# bellies at $108.00 per cwt Friday morning were down $2.00 per cwt for the week.

Live hog prices held quite well this week with the continued large slaughter. Live top prices this Friday morning were $0.75 higher to $1.00 lower compared to 7 days earlier. Carcass prices were steady to $2.51 below a week earlier.

The top live prices at select markets this Friday morning were; Peoria $53, St. Paul $54, Sioux Falls $55.50, and interior Missouri $54.75.

The weighted average price of 185# carcass 0.9-1.1" back fat, 6 sq. in. loin 2" deep were western Cornbelt $75.20 per cwt, eastern Cornbelt $77.19, Iowa-Minnesota $74.72, and Nation $76.71.

5m Editor