Weekly Review: Weather Causes Weight Fluctuations

US - Weekly review of the US hog industry, written by Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain.
calendar icon 10 January 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Barrow and gilt live weights in Iowa-Minnesota for the week ending January 3 at 269.4 pounds were 2.8 pounds above a week earlier but 2.2 pounds below a year earlier. Last week weights are at or near the high for the winter. Last years highest weekly weight was the week ending 5 January.

Weights will likely start declining in the next few weeks and hit a low in late summer, probably in August. The low week in 2008 was week ending 9 August at 257.4 per head for barrows and gilts in Iowa Minnesota.

Barrow and gilt carcass weights peaked last year at 203 pounds both the week of 5 January and 12 January. We are running one to two pounds below a year earlier this year in carcass weights due to the higher priced feed. Barrow and gilt weights declined to an average of 191 pounds for the first three weeks ending in August in 2008 for the lowest weights last year.

This fluctuation in weights during the year is due to weather mostly but feed quality may also be a factor in fall.

Pork product cutout prices per cwt through Thursday at $59.32 per cwt up $4.00 per cwt for the week. Loins at $75.41 per cwt were down $3.71 per cwt, Boston butts at $56.84 were down $0.44 per cwt, hams at $52.10 per cwt were up $16.48 per cwt and bellies at $67.98 per cwt were down $2.00 per cwt from a week earlier.

Top live prices Friday morning were $3 per cwt higher compared to seven days earlier. Weighted average carcass prices Friday morning were $4.53-6.63 higher compared to last Friday.

The top live prices Friday morning for select markets were: Peoria $34 per cwt, Zumbrota, Minnesota, $37 per cwt and interior Missouri $38 per cwt. Weighted average negotiated carcass price for Friday morning by area were: western Cornbelt $56.23 per cwt, eastern Cornbelt $54.50 per cwt, Iowa-Minnesota $56.44 per cwt and nation $55.30 per cwt.

The inventories in the December report indicate marketings should be below a year earlier in coming weeks. Hopefully demand will be strong enough to support steady to higher prices in coming weeks.

Slaughter this week under Federal Inspection was estimated at 2386 thousand head, down 2 per cent from a year earlier.

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