Hog Outlook: Hog Futures Continue to Set New Records

US - Hog futures continue to set new records highs daily, write Ron Plain and Scott Brown, University of Missouri.
calendar icon 17 March 2014
clock icon 4 minute read

Prior to February 2014, no hog futures contract had ever closed above per cent 108/cwt. The April lean hog futures contract settled at per cent 119.30/cwt today, up per cent 6.30 from the previous Friday. May hog futures ended the week at per cent 123.80/cwt, up per cent 6.05 from the week before. June hogs gained per cent 7.35 to close at per cent 127.85/cwt. The July contract ended the week at per cent 124.50/cwt, up per cent 5.95 for the week. August closed at per cent 122.50/cwt.

Cash hog prices climbed to record levels this week. The national average negotiated carcass price for direct delivered hogs on the morning report today was per cent 110.47/cwt, up per cent 7.59 from last Friday, up per cent 27.93 from four weeks ago, and up per cent 37.62 from a year ago. The western corn belt reported a morning average of per cent 113.67/cwt. Neither Iowa-Minnesota nor the eastern corn belt had a price quote this morning. Peoria had a top live price today of per cent 74/cwt. Zumbrota, MN topped at per cent 77/cwt. The top price Friday for interior Missouri live hogs was per cent 78.50, up per cent 5.75 from the previous Friday.

Friday morning's pork cutout value was per cent 122.65/cwt FOB the plants, up per cent 11.56 from the week before and up per cent 45.11 from a year ago. This morning's hog carcass price averaged 90.1% of the cutout value.

U.S. pork exports during January were up 4.5% compared to 12 months earlier. China, Mexico and Colombia were the primary growth markets. January exports equaled 21.2% of U.S. pork production.

January pork imports were up 2.1% from a year earlier with most countries, except Canada, sending us more pork than a year ago. January imports equaled 3.3% of production.

Hog imports were down 16.7% in January with feeder pig imports down 16.6%. Other live imports were down 17.7% compared to January 2013.

Iowa State University calculations estimate the typical market hog sold in February turned a profit of per cent 33.59 per head. That was the best February return since 1979. ISU estimates the cost of production for February sales at per cent 56.30/cwt, down for the 13th consecutive month.

The number of new cases of PED virus continues to climb. Each of the last 6 weeks prior to March increased the number of farms with the disease by more than 250. There are 27 states with PEDv. Iowa, Minnesota and North Carolina have the most cases.

Hog slaughter this week totaled 2.024 million head, down 2.1% from the week before and down 7.9% compared to the same week last year. Hog supplies are tight and some plants are planning to slaughter hogs only four days per week.

The average live weight of barrows and gilts in Iowa-Minnesota last week was 282.1 pounds, up 0.3 pound from a week earlier and up 5.2 pounds from a year ago.

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