Three Countries Key in Influencing 2010 Pork Prices

US, CANADA - US-based agricultural economist, Dr Ron Plain, suggests Mexico, Russia and China will be the key markets to watch during 2010 as North American pork producers strive to improve the profitability of their farms, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 12 January 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

During 2009, despite reduction in hog production, US pork producers lost an estimated 25 dollars per hog marketed while the strong Canadian dollar made things even more difficult for Canadian producers.

University of Missouri agricultural economics professor, Dr Ron Plain, observes the recession did nothing good for hog prices but hopefully, we will see an escalation of economic activity and consumer confidence returning which will be good for all meat prices.

Dr Ron Plain – University of Missouri

Of course, our domestic market here in the US and for you in Canada what happens locally is the big factor.

Then, of course exports, are a very large part of what drives hog prices. Our biggest foreign customer for US pork is Japan and they are usually a pretty steady reliable source of purchases of our product.

Mexico is a market that is fairly volatile in their purchases. It looks like they have been picking up and expanding purchases here late in 2009, early this year.

Hopefully, that will carry on through the year.

Also the Chinese market is one that bought a lot of US pork in 2008 but not so much in 2009.

The Russian market is also one that is quite volatile.

So probably the three that we'll be watching here in the States will be Mexico, Russia and China because of the volatility of them.

Dr Plain notes the quarterly inventory reports are showing fewer sows than a year ago.

He suggests those reductions will need to continue all the way through 2010 if producers are going to be able to enjoy profits in 2011.

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