Export Demand for Pork Up in April

US - Pork exports during April were up 2.2 per cent compared to 12 months earlier, write Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain.
calendar icon 12 June 2010
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Pork imports were down 4.6 per cent. In April, 5.5 pounds of pork were exported for each pound imported. During the first four months of 2010 pork exports were up 1.5 per cent and imports down 3.5 per cent. January-April exports to Japan, our biggest foreign customer, were down 7.1 per cent but shipments to Mexico and Canada were up 25.7 per cent and 10.6 per cent, respectively. Exports to Russia, China and South Korea lag well behind last year. Exports to Hong Kong, Australia, Taiwan and the Philippines are up.

Export demand for pork was up 28 per cent in April. During the first four months of 2010 export demand is up 13 per cent compared to January-April 2009.

USDA's June supply and demand estimates increased forecasted corn use for ethanol and reduced the expected corn carryover. They are currently forecasting that 34.7 per cent of the 2009 corn crop and 35.2 per cent of the 2010 corn crop will be milled for ethanol. USDA is predicting an average farm price in the neighborhood of $3.55/bu for the 2009 crop and $3.60/bu for the 2010 crop.

USDA lowered their forecast of 2010 red meat production by 0.6 per cent (beef down 0.7 per cent and pork down 0.5 per cent). They also lowered their forecast of 2010 prices (steers down $2/cwt and live hogs down $0.50/cwt from last month's forecast).

USDA's Thursday afternoon calculated pork cutout value was $83.62/cwt, down $1.75 from the previous Thursday. Loins, hams, bellies and butts were all lower this week.

The national weighted average carcass price for negotiated hogs Friday morning was $72.21/cwt, $1.90 lower than the previous Friday. Regional average prices on Friday morning were: eastern corn belt $71.52, western corn belt $75.03, and Iowa-Minnesota $75.22/cwt. The top live hog price Friday at Sioux Falls was $53/cwt, down $2.50 from the previous Friday. Peoria topped at $51 on Friday and Zumbrota, MN had a top price of $52. The interior Missouri live top Friday was $52.75/cwt, $2.25 lower than the previous Friday.

This week's hog slaughter totaled 2.026 million head, up 13.1 per cent from the week before, but down 2.5 per cent compared to the same week last year. Last week's slaughter was light due to the Memorial Day holiday.

The average carcass weight of barrows and gilts slaughtered the week ending 29 May was 201 pounds, the same as the week before and up 1 pound compared to a year ago. Iowa-Minnesota live weights last week averaged 272.3 pounds, up 3.0 pounds compared to a year earlier.

The June lean hog futures contract ended the week at $77.77/cwt, down $1.28 from the previous Friday. The July contract settled at $78.55, down $1.17 for the week. August closed the week $80.35 lower at $0.42/cwt and October ended the week at $73.50/cwt.

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