USDA Report Prompted Higher Hog Prices

US - Release of the latest USDA Hogs and Pigs Report has triggered some improvement in live hog prices, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 2 April 2015
clock icon 3 minute read

The USDA's Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report, which was released on Friday 27 March, shows we are going to see significantly larger hog supplies this year than we saw last year, when swine herds in the US were devastated by Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea virus.

Ron Gietz, a business development specialist in pork with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, said that we are on the rebound from the disease. That means quite a bit more production, but the increase is actually below industry expectations.

Ron Gietz-Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development:

While the report does say we're going to see considerably more production than a year ago the expectations in the market were already there.

In fact in some categories, the breeding herd was smaller than expected, the farrowing intentions. That's what producers say they're going to do in the spring.

June to August intentions are actually down in terms of the number of pigs they expect to farrow.

So there were some categories where the numbers came in below expectations.

As a result of that, the report was released Friday, and so far this week the hog futures have kind of turned a bit of a corner and they've been trending higher here the first two days of this week.

Certainly markets have come down very dramatically from the extreme highs we saw in 2015.

Now with this report it kind of signals that maybe we've reached the low point here and we can look forward to at least slightly better times here moving into the summer months.

Mr Gietz noted that the futures have rebounded and he hopes to see the cash market bottom out in the next week or so to get the cash market turned around.

He said that with pork being this cheap and beef being so expensive, it will help get domestic demand going and US exports are expected to rebound which will also help the market.

Further Reading

You can view the full USDA Hogs and Pigs report by clicking here.

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