Strong Pork Demand Bolsters Live Hog Prices

CANADA - A business development specialist pork with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development says a good demand for pork fueled by high prices for competing has helped keep the price of live hogs strong, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 6 October 2015
clock icon 3 minute read

The US Department of Agriculture's quarterly Hog and Pigs report, released September 25, showed the total number of hogs in the US was up four per cent to 68.4 million and the number of market hogs was up four per cent to 62.4 million, the highest numbers on record but the breeding herd increased by only one per cent.

Ron Gietz, a business development specialist pork with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, says the numbers were well anticipated and, while the number of hogs in the US was large, it was no surprise and has been offset by good demand for pork.

Ron Gietz-Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development:

So demand is pretty important actually.

We've had good domestic demand, US and Canada.

We finally got pork to a level which was very competitive, especially with beef prices were so high.

Those are coming down now so beef is going to be more competitive in 2016 but pork was benefitting from the high price of competing meat and demand has been pretty good.

That has kind of kept prices from dropping to sharply here this fall and it can only help prop up that market.

Export demand, that's been kind of OK no big changes up or down on that side but there has definitely been some good news on the domestic side.

Gietz says in 2016 we can expect similar pork supplies as in 2015 which will translate into similar prices.

He says analysts are watching the beef market in the US because that's kind of coming apart a little bit right now so moving into 2016, if we do have a significantly lower beef market, that could be bringing back a little competition on that side.

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