Hog Outlook: Slaughter Above Expectations Again!

US Weekly Hog Outlook, 29th September 2007 - Weekly review of the US hog industry, written by Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain.
calendar icon 29 September 2007
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Hog slaughter continues to run above expectations. For that reason, we revised our estimates of the September 1 Hogs and Pigs report. We are looking for the total number to be up 2.8 percent, the breeding herd up 0.5 percent and the market herd up 3.0 percent from last year.

For the first eight months of 2007, pork production was up 2.6 percent and live hog prices were up 5.8 percent from the same months of 2006. There is only one way to get higher prices with larger supplies and that is with demand growth. Demand for pork at the consumer level for January-August was up 1.9 percent. However, live hog demand showed a strong growth of 3.3 percent for the first eight months of 2007 compared to 12 months earlier.

The data indicates the live hog demand growth this year has been due to the growth in domestic consumer demand. Most of the increase in retail pork prices was bid through to producers.

Slaughter barrow and gilt weights last week in Iowa-Minnesota set a new record high for a week in September at 266.5 pounds per head. This year's weight for the week ending September 22 was up 0.4 pound from a week earlier and up 1.4 pounds from a year earlier. These weights are likely to exceed 270 pounds by early winter.

The cutout per cwt of carcass for Thursday afternoon at $61.20 per cwt was down $4.63 per cwt from a week earlier. Loins at $78.15 per cwt were down $1.84 per cwt, Boston butts were down $1.15 per cwt at $61.19 per cwt, hams at $46.29 per cwt were down $11.36 per cwt and bellies were down $7.31 per cwt at $73.18 per cwt. All changes are from a week earlier.

With the record high slaughter recently, live hog prices were pushed $1.50 to %5.00 per cwt lower this Friday morning than a week earlier. Weighted average carcass prices for negotiated hogs Friday morning were $4.52 to $8.26 per cwt lower than seven days earlier. The top live prices Friday morning for select markets were: Peoria $37.50 per cwt, St. Paul 38.00 per cwt and interior Missouri $40.25 per cwt. The weighted average carcass price by areas Friday morning were: western Cornbelt $54.48 per cwt, eastern Cornbelt $53.97 per cwt, Iowa-Minnesota $54.45 per cwt and nation $54.06 per cwt.

Cash feeder pig prices at United Tel-O-Auction this week were lower than two weeks earlier but still relatively strong. The prices per cwt by weight groups this week at United were $71-83 per cwt for 40-50 pounds and $66-84.50 per cwt for 50-60 pounds.

The average of the trade estimates for the September 1 Hogs and Pigs report is total number up 2.1 percent, breeding up 0.8 percent and market herd up 2.3 percent.

Slaughter this week under Federal Inspection was estimated at 2,223 thousand head, up 3.9 percent from a year earlier.

The September Hogs and Pigs report came in some higher than trade estimates. The total number of hogs and pigs were up 2.8 percent the breeding herd was up 0.9 percent and the market herd was up 2.9 percent. Marketings during September were about 0.5 percent above the 180-pounds-and- heavier inventories. A detailed report of the September numbers will be on AgEBB by 12 P.M. Monday.

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