Confusion Within North American Hog Markets

by 5m Editor
9 October 2013, at 6:19am

US & CANADA - The chair of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board says the suspension of US government services is creating a great deal of uncertainty within North American hog markets, Bruce Cochrane writes.

As a result of the US federal funding stalemate in Congress non-essential US government services including US Department of Agriculture agricultural marketing services have been suspended.

Sask Pork Chair Florian Possberg notes information gathered by USDA on everything from the value of wholesale cuts of pork to prices paid for hogs by the federally inspected slaughter plants is used to set North American hog prices.

Florian Possberg-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board

There are other ways of collecting data that really have not been used by the industry for a long time that are kind of being dusted off.

For example there is an independent collection of some of the wholesale values for pork cuts, hasn't been used for settling price but it is being reviewed and some think that that could be used as sort of the basis.

Reality though is that in terms of open cry auction there is such a small number of hogs that are actually sold by competitive bid that it just doesn't create a legitimate market any more so we will be depending on some of these things for settlement.

I think though that we still believe that the US government is going to find a way to end this impasse.

We're not expecting it to last too much longer but really if it does we will have to depend on some of these innovative ways to determine what the legitimate price is.

Mr Possberg says the US government shutdown has shown how dependent the North American hog industry has become on information provided by USDA.