Weekly Review: 'Swine Flu' Determines Hog Values

US - Weekly review of the US hog industry, written by Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain.
calendar icon 9 May 2009
clock icon 4 minute read

Based on the changes in futures market prices for lean hogs, the swine flu has reduced the value of hogs to be marketed this summer by around half a billion dollars. Hopefully the market will recover and the actual losses will not be this large; but regardless of what happens to prices this summer the misnaming of this flu has been very costly to the industry.

Obviously hogs are having nothing to do with who gets this flu, otherwise the people doing the work to care for hogs would be people being affected and to date we know of no one getting the disease from hogs.

The odds are high that we have backed up marketings during the last two weeks due to this flu situation. For the week ending 19 April, barrows and gilts in Iowa-Minnesota were 3.4 pounds heavier than a year earlier. For the week ending 2 May, the live weight of barrows and gilts in Iowa-Minnesota were 5.9 pounds above 12 months earlier. This is adding additional pounds of pork to the supply at a time when we already have more pork than is needed to get profitable prices for producers.

Pork product cutout at $58.58 per cwt Thursday afternoon was up $1.95 per cwt from a week earlier. Loins at $72.11 per cwt were down $1.03 per cwt, Boston buttons at $55.99 per cwt were down $6.99 per cwt, hams at $44.80 per cwt were up $8.43 per cwt and bellies at $79.78 per cwt were up $6.91 per cwt from seven days earlier.

Feeder pig prices at United Tel-O-Auction this week were steady to lower than two weeks earlier. Direct feeder pig prices nationally for the last week were $5-10 per head lower than seven days earlier.

The prices at United this week had 50-60 pound pigs at $93-112.50 per cwt. The national prices last week had weighted average prices per head for 10 pound basis pigs at $33.39 per head and 40 pound basis pigs at $45.56 per head. The formula price pigs had a weighted average for ten-pound-basis pigs at $35.43 per head and cash basis for 10-pound-pigs averaged $28.53 per head. The national formula price for 40-pound-basis pigs was $58.36 per head and cash basis for 40-pound pigs was $44.83 per head.

Prices for live hogs Friday morning were $2.50-5.25 per cwt lower compared to a week earlier. Weighted average negotiated carcass prices Friday morning were $6.03 lower to $4.53 higher per cwt compared to seven days earlier.

The top live prices for select markets Friday morning were: Peoria $33.00 per cwt, Zumbrota, Minnesota, $N/A per cwt and interior Missouri $37.25 per cwt. The weighted average negotiated carcass prices by area were: western Cornbelt $57.82 per cwt, eastern Cornbelt $49.84 per cwt, Iowa-Minnesota $57.98 per cwt and nation $55.39 per cwt.

Slaughter this week under Federal Inspection was estimated at 2010 thousand head, down 3.7 per cent from a year earlier.

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