US Pork Exports To Japan Down Substantially

US Weekly Hog Outlook, 16th June 2006 - Weekly review of the US hog industry, written by Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain.
calendar icon 17 June 2006
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Ron Plain
Ron Plain

Pork exports during April were up only 1.1% from a year earlier. For January - April, pork exports are up 16%.

Even though pork exports for April were up only slightly, they were the second largest monthly pork exports of record. Pork exports in April were also a record high as a percent of production at 15.9%, and net exports as a percent of production, at 11%.

For some reason, pork exports to Japan are down substantially. Based on available data, Japan's total pork purchases are down more from other countries than from the U.S. as a percent of purchases.

For January - April, Japan's purchases from the U.S. were down 9.7%, Canada's up 12.4%, Mexico's up 27.9%, Russia's up 141.6%, South Korea's up 64%, mainland China and Hong Kong's up 42.6%, Taiwan's up 63.8%, Caribbean's up 59.7%, and other's up 2%. Pork imports by the U.S. for January - April were up 5.4% from the same months in 2005.

Imports of live hogs continue to run well above 2005 for January through April, up 12.3%. Feeder pig imports were up 16.1% for these four months and slaughter hog imports were up 4.2% compared to a year earlier.

Demand for pork at the consumer level in January - April was not down as much as our preliminary data indicated. At a loss of 5.7%, it is still very undesirable, but that is still better than our preliminary estimate of 6.1%. The demand for beef and broilers turned out to be bigger losses than our preliminary data indicated. With all of the data in, beef demand at the consumer level for January - April was down 5.3% rather than 4.1% from 12 months earlier. Broiler demand for January - April was down 6.0% rather than 5.1% based on preliminary data.

Retail pork prices for May were down 1.1% from April and down 4.4% from May 2005. Retail pork prices for January - May of 2006 were down 2.4% from the same period a year earlier.

The total marketing margin for January - May was up 4.3% from 2005. The processor and retailers' margin was up 4.4% and the packers' margin was up 4.0% for January - May compared to a year earlier.

Both the marketers and consumers benefited from the lower live hog prices. The live prices for hogs for January - May were down 16.7% in 2006 from a year earlier.

We appear to be very current with marketings, at least in the Midwest. The average weights last week in Iowa-Minnesota were at 264.3 pounds - down 2.2 pounds from last week and down 2.5 pounds from last year.

This has been a good week for the hog producers. Top live prices this Friday morning were up $3.00 to $4.00 per cwt from a week earlier. Average weighted carcass prices on Friday morning were up $4.33 to $5.74 per cwt from seven days earlier. Pork product cutout for Thursday afternoon was up $3.30 per cwt from the prior Thursday.

The top prices Friday morning for selected markets were: Peoria $53.00 per cwt, St. Paul $58.00 per cwt, Sioux Falls $59.00 per cwt, and interior Missouri $55.00 per cwt.

The average weighted carcass prices by area Friday morning were: western Cornbelt $77.41 per cwt, eastern Cornbelt $74.57 per cwt, Iowa-Minnesota $77.76 per cwt, and nation $76.06 per cwt.

Slaughter this week under Federal Inspection was estimated at 1823 thousand head, down 4.8% from a year earlier.

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