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November Retail Pork Prices Down from October

by 5m Editor
20 December 2010, at 2:59am

US - The average price of pork in grocery stores last month was $3.32 per pound, the second highest month ever, writes Ron Plain.

November retail pork prices were down 4.3 cents from October, but 50.2 cents higher than in November 2009.

The US exported 339 million pounds of pork during October, down 9.5 per cent compared to 12 months earlier. Through October, pork exports are up 2.0 per cent compared to the first ten months of 2009. Mexico, Philippines and China have been the major growth markets this year.

Pork imports during October totaled 77 million pounds, up 6.8 per cent compared to October 2009; 82 per cent of the increase has come from Canada. Year-to-date imports are up 5.0 per cent.

Thru October, we have exported 18.7 per cent of US pork production and imports have equaled of 3.9 per cent production.

The average carcass weight of barrows and gilts slaughtered the week ending 4 December was a record 206 pounds, the same as 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, unchanged from the week before and up 7.1 pounds compared to a year earlier. It is likely weights will continue to be heavy well into early 2011.

Hog prices ended the week slightly higher than the week before. The national weighted average carcass price for negotiated hogs Friday morning was $66.73/cwt, up $1.50 from the previous Friday. The average carcass price this morning in the eastern corn belt was $65.16/cwt. The western corn belt averaged $68.64/cwt and Iowa-Minnesota averaged $68.76/cwt this morning. The top live hog price Friday at Sioux Falls was $48/cwt. The top at Zumbrota was $46 and Peoria's top was $45.50/cwt. The interior Missouri live top Friday was $48.25/cwt, up $2.25 from last Friday.

USDA's Thursday afternoon calculated pork cutout value was $79.32/cwt, up 79 cents from the previous Thursday. Hams and butts were lower this week while loins and bellies were higher.

Hog slaughter totaled 2.344 million head this week, up 4.6 per cent from the week before but down 1.6 per cent compared to the same week last year. This is the first week with slaughter below the year-ago level since the week ending October 16. Because of upcoming holidays, hog slaughter will be light the next two weeks which should keep pressure on prices.

The February lean hog futures contract ended the week at $75.95/cwt, up 80 cents from the previous Friday. The April contract ended the week at $80.47/cwt and June hogs settled at $89.92.

March corn futures ended the week at $5.965/bushel, up 22 cents from the previous Friday. All corn futures contracts through December 2014 are above $5.00/bushel.

The next Hog Outlook will be issued on 27 December 2010, instead of 24 December 2010.