Hog Outlook: Smithfield Fire Halts Slaughterings

US - A fire Monday at the Smithfield plant in Monmouth, Il halted slaughter at that location for several days this week, but the plant was operating again late in the week, write Ron Plain and Scott Brown, Ag Economics, MU.
calendar icon 12 September 2016
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Seaboard Foods has purchased the 25,000 sow Texas Farm hog operation from its Japanese parent company, Nippon Meat Packers, Inc.

US pork exports totaled 403 million pounds during July. That is up 1.9 per cent from a year ago, but the lowest for any month since March. The increase in exports was due to a big jump in exports to China and Hong Kong.

US pork imports totaled 91 million pounds in July. That was up 6 per cent from a year ago and the most since March. Shipments from Canada were down 9.7 per cent, but there was a large increase in pork imports from Europe.

Hog imports totaled 415,545 head during July, which is down 11.7 per cent from a year ago.

Slaughter hog prices were steady to lower this week. The national negotiated barrow and gilt price averaged $57.14/cwt on the morning report today, up 4 cents from a week earlier, but down $7.34 from a year ago. There were no regional price quotes this morning for the eastern corn belt, western corn belt, or Iowa-Minnesota.

The top hog price today at Peoria was $35/cwt, down $2 from a week ago. Today's top price for interior Missouri live hogs was $40.50/cwt, down $1.50 from last Friday.

Friday morning's pork cutout value was $81.08/cwt FOB slaughter plants. That is up $3.89 from the week before. Loin, ham, belly and butt prices were all higher. This morning's national negotiated hog price is only 70.5 per cent of the cutout value.

Hog slaughter this holiday-shortened week totaled 2.084 million head, down 7.5 per cent from last week, but up 1.7 per cent from the same week last year. Saturday's slaughter is forecast to total 363,000 hogs, which will be the fifth highest Saturday ever.

The average slaughter weight of barrows and gilts in Iowa-Minnesota last week was 276.8 pounds. That is up 0.8 pound from the week before, but down 0.6 pound from the same week last year.

Hog futures were lower this week. The October lean hog futures contract ended the week at $59.225/cwt, down $1.525 from the preceding Friday. Today, December hogs settled at $53.925/cwt, down $1.45 from last Friday. The February contract settled at $58.775, down $1.325 for the week. June hogs settled at $74.775 today.

USDA's Crop Progress report says that 74 per cent of corn acres were in good or excellent condition on September 4. That is down 1 point from a week earlier, but 6 points higher than on that date last year.

Corn futures were higher this week. The September corn futures contract gained 13.5 cents this week to close at $3.30 per bushel. December corn futures closed 12.5 cents higher than last Friday at $3.41/bu. March ended the week at $3.514 per bushel.

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