May Pork Imports Down 1.2 Per Cent

by 5m Editor
18 July 2011, at 7:46am

US - US pork exports during May were up 12.7 per cent compared to a year earlier, writes Ron Plain.

Pork imports were down 1.2 per cent in May. During May the US exported 23.2 per cent of our pork production while imports equaled 3.7 per cent of production. For the first 5 months of 2011, pork exports are up 17.9 per cent and imports are up 1.5 per cent. The big growth market thus far in 2011 has been South Korea which has purchased 157 million pounds (147 per cent) more US pork than in January-May 2010. Exports to Japan are up by 81 million pound; shipments to Russia are up 39.5 million pounds; exports to China and Hong Kong are up 50 million pounds. Feeder pig imports during May were up 4.4 per cent from a year earlier. Imports of slaughter hogs were up 10.2 per cent.

Cash hog prices were slightly lower this week. The national average negotiated carcass price for direct delivered hogs on the morning report today was $90.88/cwt, down $1.10 from last Friday. The Friday morning price report for the western corn belt was $94.30/cwt. Iowa-Minnesota averaged $94.57/cwt. The eastern corn belt averaged $88.72/cwt. Friday’s top live hog price at Peoria was $63/cwt. Zumbrota’s top was $64/cwt. The top for interior Missouri hogs was $67.50/cwt, $3 lower than the previous Friday.

The pork cutout value rose this week. USDA’s Thursday afternoon calculated pork cutout value was $98.66/cwt, up $2.07 from the previous Thursday. Loins, hams, and butts were higher, bellies steady. This morning’s national average hog carcass price equaled 92 per cent of the pork cutout value which is more or less a breakeven for packers.

Hog slaughter totaled 2.018 million head this week, up 16.6 per cent from last week’s holiday-shortened total and up 0.9 per cent compared to the same week last year. Barrow and gilt carcass weights for the week ending 2 July averaged 199 pounds, unchanged from a week earlier, but 1 pound heavier than a year ago. Iowa-Minnesota live weights for barrows and gilts last week averaged 266.6 pounds, down 1 pound from the week before and down 1.6 pounds compared to the same week last year. This is the seventh consecutive week Iowa-Minnesota weights have been below the year-earlier level.

The July lean hog futures contract went off the board today at $95.15/cwt, down 72 cents from the previous Friday. The August hog contract settled Friday at $98.95/cwt, up $2.78 for the week. October hogs settled at $91.65 and December closed at $87.87/cwt.

USDA’s June production and price forecast is for more corn acres and a lower price than their June forecast. USDA added 1.6 million acres to their planting estimate, 270 million bushels to their corn production forecast, and lowered their price estimate on this fall’s corn crop by 50 cents to $5.50 to $6.50 per bushel. They also predicted a 100 million bushel increase in ethanol use. USDA is are forecasting 2012 pork production to be 1.6 per cent above this year and 2.7 per cent higher than in 2010.

The September corn futures contract gained 59 cents this week to settle at $7.0125/bu. December corn futures close at $6.85. The May 2012 contract ended the week at $7.005/bu.