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Pork Exports Still Above Previous Year Levels

by 5m Editor
21 January 2006, at 12:00am

US Weekly Hog Outlook, 20th January 2006 - Weekly review of the US hog industry, written by Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain.

Ron Plain
Ron Plain

Pork exports have slowed from the spectacular rate of the 1st half of the year but were still 12% above 12 months earlier in November.

For the year through November pork exports were up 22.4%. Pork exports for January through November were 11.1% above the record high for all of 2004.

Our pork exports for the 1st 11 months of the year were up 15.1% to Japan, up 29.9% to Canada, down 0.4% to Mexico, up 43.6% to Russia, up 190.6% to South Korea, down 37.8% to Hong Kong, up 41.7% to mainline China --- pork exports to Hong Kong and mainline China combined were up 19.3% --- down 39% to Taiwan, up 62.2% to the Caribbean and up 113.3% to other.

Pork imports by the United States for January through November were down 8.3% from a year earlier. Net pork exports as a percent of production increased from 5.2% in the first 11 months of 2004 to 8.0% of production for the same months of 2005.

Live hog imports in November from Canada were down 4.5% from 12 months earlier. However, feeder pig imports for the month were up 0.9% but slaughter imports for November were down 13.3% from a year earlier.

For January through November live hog imports from Canada were down 4.8%, feeder pig imports were down 5.4% and slaughter imports were down 3.6%.

December retail pork prices were up 0.6% from November but the same as December 2004. For the year of 2005 retail pork prices were up 1.3% from 12 months earlier.

The marketing tools some of what gave away in 2004 were back in 2005. All segments of the marketing system had higher margins in 2005 than 2004 with the total marketing bill up 4.1%.

The marketers received all of the increase in retail price plus some. The prices of live hogs in 2005 were 4.7% below 2004. However, 51 to 52% of lean hogs in 2005 still averaged a little over $50 per cwt live --- a price that must if not all producers would likely be glad to receive for the foreseeable future with current costs of production.

Live hog weights for barrows and gilts for the week of January 14th were down from the record 273.8 pounds live a week earlier in Iowa - Minnesota but the 2nd highest of record at 272.2 pounds. Average barrow and gilt carcass weight at 202 pounds under Federal Inspection was a new record high for the week ending January 7, 2006.

The cash hog market came under strong downward pressure in early weeks but recovered some or all of the early weeks loss by Friday.

Live cash hog prices Friday were $1.50 higher than a week earlier. The top live prices Friday morning at select markets were: Peoria $36.50 per cwt, St. Paul $40.00 per cwt, Sioux Falls $40.50 per cwt and interior Missouri $38.75 per cwt.

The average weighted base carcass prices Friday morning were $2.93 lower to $4.15 higher compared to a week earlier. These prices for Friday morning by geographic area were: western Cornbelt $55.66 per cwt, eastern Cornbelt $51.40 per cwt, Iowa-Minnesota $55.71 per cwt and nation $53.28 per cwt.

Slaughter this week under Federal Inspection was estimated at 2107 thousand head --- up 5.7% from a year earlier.

Cash feeder pig prices this week at United Producers tel-o-auction were up to $25 per cwt below 2 weeks earlier. The united prices by weighted groups were 40-50 pound $104.50 per cwt, 50-60 pound $119 per cwt, and 60-70 pound $110 per cwt.

5m Editor