Hog Outlook: USDA Quarterly Report Points to Pork Prices Remaining High

US - The latest USDA 'Hogs & Pigs' report points to continued high hog prices, according to Ron Plain and Scott Brown of the University of Missouri.
calendar icon 30 June 2014
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USDA released the results of its June hog inventory survey on 27 June. They said the market hog inventory was down 5.1 per cent and the breeding herd down 0.6 per cent compared to a year earlier. These were lower than expected. The pre-release trade forecasts were for the market hog inventory to be down 3.4 per cent and the breeding herd to be up 1.6 per cent compare to 1 June 2013. Look for continued high hog prices.

There were 575 million pounds of pork in cold storage at the end of May. That was two per cent less than the month before and 12.7 per cent less than a year ago. The big exception was pork bellies, which were up 57 per cent compared to 31 May 2013.

The summer rally in hog and pork prices continues. Wednesday's cut-out value, $133.67 per cwt, was the second highest ever. Friday morning's pork cut-out value was $131.89 per cwt FOB the plants, up $5.23 from the week before and up $20.61 from a year ago.

Cash hog prices also were higher this week. The national average negotiated carcass price for direct delivered hogs on the morning report today was $124.66per cwt which is up $7.55 from the previous Friday, up $27.37 from a year ago, and the highest price since early April. The western corn belt and Iowa-Minnesota both averaged $125.28per cwt on Friday 27 June. There was no morning price report for the eastern corn belt. Peoria had a top live price today of $85 per cwt. The top price Friday for interior Missouri live hogs was $89 per cwt which was $6 higher than the previous Friday. This morning's hog carcass price averaged 94.5 per cent of the cut-out value.

Hog slaughter this week totalled 1.91 million head, up 0.6 per cent from the previous week, but down 5.4 per cent compared to last year.

The average live slaughter weight of barrows and gilts in Iowa-Minnesota a week ago was 285.0 pounds. That was down 2.0 pounds from the week before but 11.0 pounds heavier than a year ago. It was the 64th consecutive week with Iowa-Minnesota live hog weights above the year-earlier level.

Hog futures were mostly higher last week. The July hog futures contract ended the week at $130.90 per cwt, up $3.08 from the previous Friday. August hogs gained 67 cents this week to close at $129.82 per cwt. The October contract ended the week at $110.90/cwt up $1.18 for the week. The December contract settled at $95.60 per cwt.

This week's USDA Crop Progress report said that 74 per cent of US corn acres were in good or excellent condition on 22 June. That is down two points from the week before, but nine points higher than on the same date last year.

The July corn futures contract lost 10 cents this week to close at $4.43. The September contract ended the week at $4.42, down six cents from the previous Friday. December corn futures ended the week at $4.47 per bushel.

Further Reading

You can view the USDA 'Hogs & Pigs' report by clicking here.

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