Meat Production Forecast for 2010 and 2011 Revised

US - Ever since the new crop corn hit the feed bins, hog slaughter weights have been higher, writes Ron Plain.
calendar icon 13 December 2010
clock icon 4 minute read

The average carcass weight of barrows and gilts slaughtered the week ending 27 November was a record 206 pounds, one pound heavier than the previous week and 5 pounds heavier than a year ago. Iowa-Minnesota live weights for barrows and gilts last week averaged 275.6 pounds, up 0.6 pounds from the week before and up 5.7 pounds compared to a year earlier.

USDA has revised upward their forecast of meat production in both 2010 and 2011. They are now estimating 2010 red meat and poultry production at 91.6 billion pounds. That is up 0.8 per cent from 2009 and up 0.6 per cent from their November estimate. Pork production is expected to be down 2.9 per cent this year and turkey production down 0.9 per cent. But, 2010 beef production is expected to be up 0.9 per cent and broiler production up 3.4 per cent compared to last year.

For 2011, USDA is forecasting beef production to decline by 2.5 per cent and turkey production to drop 0.9 per cent again. Pork production is forecast to increase by 1.1 per cent with broiler production up 1.3 per cent. Total red meat and poultry production in 2011 is forecast to equal this year's level.

USDA is forecasting the average live weight price of barrows and gilts to be close to $54.90/cwt this year and around $55/cwt in 2011.

Hog prices ended the week even with the week before. The national weighted average carcass price for negotiated hogs Friday morning was $65.23/cwt, up 4 cents from the previous Friday. The average carcass price this morning in the eastern corn belt was $65.12/cwt. Both the western corn belt and Iowa-Minnesota averaged $66.63/cwt this morning. The top live hog price Friday at Sioux Falls was $49/cwt. The top at Zumbrota was $46 and Peoria's top was $47.50/cwt. The interior Missouri live top Friday was $46/cwt, down $1.50 from last Friday.

USDA's Thursday afternoon calculated pork cutout value was $78.53/cwt, up 64 cents from the previous Thursday. Hams were lower this week while loins and butts were higher, belly prices were unchanged.

Hog slaughter totaled 2.257 million head this week, down 3.1 per cent from the week before but up 1.1 per cent compared to the same week last year. This is the eighth consecutive week with slaughter above the year-ago level. Pork production is down 3.1 per cent for the year, but it has been above year-ago for each of the last eight weeks.

The December lean hog futures contract ended the week at $69.45/cwt, up 18 cents from the previous Friday. The February contract ended the week at $75.15/cwt and April settled at $79.00.

December corn futures ended the week at $5.60'2/bushel, up 1 cent from the previous Friday.

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