Hog Outlook: Big Increase in US Pork Exports to China

US - US pork exports totaled 386.8 million pounds during February. That was 1% more than in January and 2.5 per cent more than a year ago. There was a big increase in pork exports to China. Foreign demand for US pork was up in January and February after a poor year in 2015, writes Ron Plain and Scott Brown, Ag Economics, MU.
calendar icon 11 April 2016
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February pork imports equaled 95.0 million pounds, down 3.2 per cent from the month before, but up 12.8 per cent from a year ago. Most major suppliers sold more pork to the US than a year ago.

Exports equaled 19.3 per cent of February pork production while imports equaled 4.7 per cent of production.

Live hog imports totaled 472,120 head during February. That was up 14.7 per cent from a year ago, but down 0.8 per cent from the month before.

The Food and Drug Administration has moved to revoke the approval of the drug carbadox for use in swine production. Carbadox is used to control dysentery and bacterial enteritis. The concern is that carbadox residue in pigs' liver exceeds the lifetime allowance limit for animal drugs.

Cash hog prices were steady this week. The national negotiated barrow and gilt carcass price averaged $61.82/cwt on the Thursday, up 13 cents from a week ago and up $3.78 from a year ago.

There were no negotiated carcass price quotes this morning for the eastern corn belt, western corn belt, Iowa-Minnesota or for the US average.

The top hog price today at Peoria was $40/cwt, unchanged from last Friday. The top price for interior Missouri live hogs was $42.75/cwt, also unchanged from a week ago.

Friday morning's pork cutout value was $77.01/cwt FOB the plants. That is up 57 cents from the week before and up $11.29 from a year ago. Loin and belly prices were lower this week; hams lower.

This week's hog slaughter was 2.154 million head, down 1.2 per cent from last week and down 1.0 per cent from the same week last year.

The average live slaughter weight of barrows and gilts in Iowa-Minnesota last week was 284.2 pounds, up 0.7 pound from the week before and also up 0.7 pound from a year ago.

The April hog futures contract ended the week at $66.825/cwt, down 97.5 cents from the previous week. May hogs gained $1.225 this week to close at $76.725/cwt. The June lean hog futures contract ended the week at $80.875/cwt, up $1.50 from the preceding week.

Corn futures rebounded this week from last week's bearish acreage report. The May corn futures contract settled today at $3.6225 per bushel today. That is up 8.25 cents from last week. December corn ended the week at $3.75/bu., up 5.25 cents from last Friday.

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