Hog Outlook: Retail Pork Price Makes Gains in July

US - The retail pork price grew by 7 cents per pound in July to $3.77. This was the largest month to month gain since last August, but the retail price is still 45 cents lower than the record set last September, writes Ron Plain and Scott Brown, University of Missouri.
calendar icon 24 August 2015
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While the July composite retail pork price trailed the year ago level by 8.7 per cent , the change in individual items varied, with sliced bacon down 13.7 per cent vs. last July and boneless pork chops up 1.9 per cent . The composite retail chicken price remained in a range of $1.93-$2.03/lb. for the 27th consecutive month, providing steady competition in the meat case.

July pork production data was also released this week. The 1.973 billion pounds of commercial pork production in July was 9.6 per cent greater than a year ago with production for the first seven months of the year 7.4 per cent above last year's pace.

Federally inspected dressed hog weights fell two pounds vs. June to 210 pounds, 3 pounds less than July 2014. Weights have now been at least 2 pounds below year ago levels for the past 4 months.

Expansion continues in the Canadian hog herd, but at a slower pace than in the US July 1 sow inventory numbers for Canada were up 0.8 per cent vs. a year ago, with total hog inventories up 1.1 per cent . Though the Canadian hog herd has been increasing steadily for nearly three years, the slow rate of increase has only yielded an inventory of 615 thousand more hogs (4.9 per cent ) on July 1 than the January 1, 2013 level.

Cash hog prices were down for the week. Thursday's average negotiated carcass price for plant delivered hogs was $74.82/cwt, down $0.89 from last week. The national average negotiated carcass price for direct delivered hogs on the morning report today was $72.89/cwt, down $1.95 for the week, and $21.33 lower than a year ago.

The western corn belt price dropped $6.01/cwt. to $71.11/cwt. Eastern corn belt hogs sold at $73.21/cwt. this morning, and there was no quote for Iowa-Minnesota. Peoria had a top price today of $48/cwt, unchanged from last week, as was the top for interior Missouri live hogs of $52.75/cwt.

The pork cutout value also fell this week, with this morning's cutout at $87.36/cwt FOB the plants, down $2.52. Bellies gave up ground for the first week since late April, falling 7.8 per cent . Loins were down 5.5 per cent while hams gained 5.6 per cent . Other parts of the carcass were little changed. This morning's national negotiated hog price equaled 83.4 per cent of the cutout value, an increase of just 0.1 per cent vs. last week's level.

Hog slaughter for this week was 2.226 million head, up 0.6 per cent from last week and 11.2 per cent higher than the same week last year. The average live slaughter weight of barrows and gilts in Iowa-Minnesota last week was 275.5 pounds, 0.7 pounds lower than the week before and 7.0 pounds below a year ago.

The October lean hog contract fell $2.75 for the week to end at $62.82/cwt. December hogs lost $3.18, closing at $58.87. February hogs finished at $64.00/cwt.

September corn closed today at $3.65/bu, up 1 cent from last Friday. December closed at $3.77.

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