CME: Pork Prices Rebound in Recent Days

US - Pork prices have rebounded in recent days and this has helped push hog carcass values higher, write Steve Meyer and Len Steiner.
calendar icon 1 May 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

Please note that the chart below is a combination of wholesale prices from both the USDA voluntary pork price repo rt and the current mandatory price report. The pork cutout thro ugh the end of February reflects the voluntary prices. We decided to flip to the mandatory prices starting 1 March even though the voluntary report continued to be published through 11 April.

Many in the market have questioned the March data from the voluntar y report since a number of mar- ket participants stopped reporting. At this point, market partici- pants are still trying to adjust to the new pricing mechanisms. The new mandatory price report pr ovides better visibility for a number of pork items but it remains to be seen how the tendency towards more formulated trades impacts price discovery in the coming months.

Hog slaughter for the week ending April 27 was 2.148 million head, about 3% higher than a year ago. Since March 3, a total of 17.224 million hogs have come to market, 1.8% higher than a year ago and in line with the data from the USDA March Hogs and Pigs survey.

The increas e in pork wholesale values into the spring is expected although questions remain about the state of pork demand. After all, the su rge in pork prices has been driv- en primarily by sharply higher pork belly prices and higher ham prices. For hog values to continue to climb, we will likely need to see better performance from other primals and also higher prices for pork trimmings, which so far have traded quite soft.

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