Hog Outlook: Canadian and US Hog Herds Growing

US - The Canadian hog herd, like the US herd is growing slowly. The Canadian hog inventory was up 0.7 per cent at the start of 2016 to 13.26 million head. The breeding herd was up 1.6 per cent and the market hog inventory was up 0.6 per cent compared to a year ago, write Ron Plain and Scott Brown, Ag Economics, MU.
calendar icon 14 March 2016
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The Canadian hog inventory is 19.4 per cent the size of the U.S. herd. The combined U.S. and Canadian swine herd was 0.8 per cent larger at the end of 2015 than a year earlier.

After 3 months with red ink, Lee Schulz at Iowa State University estimates average farrow to finish operations in Iowa earned a profit of $4.12 per head for hogs marketed during February. Dr. Schulz estimated the cost of production for January marketings at $45.44/cwt of live weight. It currently looks like this year's profits will average close to the $7.93 per head ISU calculated for all of 2015.

Pork imports were up 6.6 per cent (+6 million pounds) in January with each of the major suppliers selling a bit more pork here. Pork exports were up 10.1 per cent (35.25 million pounds) in January thanks largely to increased shipments to China, Australia and Japan. January pork exports equaled 18.4 per cent of production and imports equaled 4.7 per cent of U.S. pork production.

The number of live hogs imported in January was up 14,934 head (+3.2 per cent) compared to 12 months earlier.

It was another quiet week in the hog market with prices a bit higher than last week. The national negotiated barrow and gilt price averaged $61.81/cwt on the morning report today, up 60 cents from last Friday morning. There were no regional negotiated price quotes this morning for the eastern corn belt, western corn belt, or for Iowa-Minnesota.

The top price today at Peoria was $38/cwt, up $1 from last Friday. The top price for interior Missouri live hogs today was $42.75/cwt, unchanged from a week ago.

Friday morning's pork cutout value was $75.13/cwt FOB the plants. That is down 31 cents from the week before, but up $7.39 from a year ago. Loin, ham and belly prices were each lower this week.

This morning's national negotiated hog price was 82.3 per cent of the cutout value.

This week's hog slaughter was 2.215 million head, down 0.2 per cent from last week and down 0.5 per cent from the same week last year.

The average live slaughter weight of barrows and gilts in Iowa-Minnesota last week was 282.9 pounds, down 1.8 pounds from the week before and down 1.3 pounds from a year ago.

The April hog futures contract ended the week at $71.825/cwt, up $1.03 from the week before. May hogs gained $1.93 this week to close at $79.25/cwt. The June lean hog futures contract ended the week at $83.075/cwt, up $1.85 from the preceding week. July hogs closed at $82.20/cwt.

The March corn futures contract settled at $3.66 per bushel today. That is up 12 cents from last Friday.

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