Hog Outlook: Pork in Cold Storage Up During September

US - The amount of pork in cold storage at the end of September was up 3.2 per cent from the month before, but down 10.2 per cent compared to a year ago, write Ron Plain and Scott Brown.
calendar icon 4 November 2013
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US pork exports during August were down 3.8 per cent compared to a year earlier. Pork imports were up 9.3 per cent. In total, 20.8 per cent of US pork production was exported during August while imports equaled 3.9 per cent of production. During the first eight months of the year, pork exports were down 8.6 per cent and imports were up 6.2 per cent. Russia and China account for most of the decline in exports. The increased pork imports are from Canada.

The number of feeder pigs imported during August was down 11.4 per cent and the number of slaughter hogs imported was down 11.5 per cent compared to August 2012.

Testing data from the National Animal Health Laboratory Network says that as of October 20, the PED virus has been confirmed in 924 swine premises in 18 states. This is an increase of 68 locations from the week before and is the biggest weekly increase in the number of positive cases. There is an unknown amount of double counting in this data.

Hog prices were $2 to $3 lower this week. The national average negotiated carcass price for direct delivered hogs on the morning report today was $84.66/cwt. The eastern corn belt had a morning price average of $83.60/cwt. The western corn belt had a morning average of $85.98/cwt. Iowa-Minnesota had no morning price quote due to confidentiality rules. Peoria had a live price top this morning of $56/cwt. Zumbrota, MN topped out at $60/cwt. The top price for interior Missouri live hogs Friday was $61.50/cwt, down 75 cents from the previous Friday.

Hog slaughter this week totaled 2.272 million head, up 0.4 per cent from the week before and down 3.7 per cent compared to the same week last year. This was the eleventh consecutive week with slaughter below the year-ago level and the fifteenth consecutive week with hog slaughter lower than expected based on the September hogs and pigs report. Since 1 September, slaughter is 4.5 per cent below the forecast level.

The average barrow and gilt live weight in Iowa-Minnesota last week was 277.8 pounds, up 0.7 pound from a week earlier, up 5.0 pounds from a year ago, and the fourth highest weight ever for this series.

Friday morning's pork cutout value based on mandatory price reporting was $93.61/cwt FOB plants, down $1.13 from the week before, but up $7.95 from a year ago. Loin, belly, ham and butt prices were all lower this week. This morning's hog prices averaged 90.4 per cent of the cutout value.

Hog futures gave back much of their rally from last week. The December lean hog futures contract settled at $88.35/cwt today, down $2.07 from the previous Friday. February hog futures ended the week at $91.22/cwt, down $1.50 from the week before. April hogs lost 93 cents to close at $92.87. June hogs settled at $98.67/cwt.

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