May Pork Exports Up Compared to a Year Ago

US - Pork exports in May were up 18.2 per cent compared to a year earlier, according to Ron Plain and Glenn Grimes.
calendar icon 17 July 2010
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Our three biggest foreign customers, Japan, Mexico and Canada respectively purchased 13 per cent, 45 per cent and 22 per cent more US pork than in May 2009. The big percentage increase in exports was due more to a drop off in exports in May 2009 when the non-swine flu was in the news than it does with exceptionally large exports in May of this year. In total, 22 per cent of US pork production during May was exported. Pork exports were also low during June 2009, so the June 2010 pork export data is likely to be well above year-ago when it is released.

Pork imports were up 4.4 per cent in May. Canada and Poland shipped more pork to us and Denmark less than in May 2009. May pork imports equaled 4 per cent of US production.

For the first five months of the year, pork imports were down 0.8 per cent and pork exports were up 4.6 per cent.

The number of hogs imported from Canada during May, 440,637 head, was down 11.1 per cent from a year earlier. Feeder pig imports were down 13.5 per cent while imports of slaughter hogs were down 3.3 per cent.

USDA's Thursday afternoon calculated pork cutout value was $81.27/cwt, down $1.67 from the previous Thursday. Loins, hams and butts were all lower, but bellies were higher. BLT season is coming.

The national weighted average carcass price for negotiated hogs Friday morning was $73.01/cwt, $1.78 lower than the previous Friday. Regional average prices on Friday morning were: eastern corn belt $72.76, western corn belt $73.75, and Iowa-Minnesota $73.65/cwt. The top live hog price Friday was $53/cwt at Sioux Falls, Peoria, and Zumbrota. The interior Missouri live top Friday was $52.75/cwt, the same as the previous Friday.

This week's hog slaughter totaled 2.002 million head, up 16.7 per cent from the week before (which was light because of Independence Day) and up 2.1 per cent compared to slaughter during the same week last year. Several packers will be taking floating holiday in the coming week, so daily hog slaughter could jump around a bit. Year-to-date, pork production is down 3.9 per cent.

The average carcass weight of barrows and gilts slaughtered the week ending 3 July was 198 pounds, down 1 pound from the week before and up 2 pounds compared to a year ago. Iowa-Minnesota live weight last week averaged 268.2 pounds, up 3.3 pounds compared to a year earlier. Weights should continue to decline since summer heat means slower gains.

The August lean hog futures contract ended the week at $81.70/cwt, up $1.68 from the previous Friday. The October contract settled at $75.70 up 60 cents for the week. December closed the week 80 cents higher at $73.45/cwt and February ended the week at $74.72/cwt.

The September corn contracted ended the week at $3.94'6, up 11 cents from the previous Friday. August soybean meal futures gained $6.90 this week to settle at $307.80/ton.

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