CME: Average Weight of Producer Barrows, Gilts Up 0.2%

US - Cattle and hog weights have been trending in opposite directions in the last few weeks. Some of this is seasonal but it also may reflect some of the short-term supply issues in both markets, reports Steiner Consulting Group, DLR Division, Inc.
calendar icon 24 April 2017
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In the case of hogs, we have seen the trend on weights follow the opposite path as with cattle. USDA does report hog carcass weights with a two week lag, like cattle, but the data from Mandatory Price Reporting is consistent and much more timely so we tend to look at that report to assess the situation in the pork complex.

The latest data for all barrows and gilts shows an average dressed weight of 213.8 pounds, slightly lower than a year ago (213.9) but about a pound heavier than at the end of March. There has also been a divergence in the weight of producer v. packer hogs. Which sort of makes sense, when prices are coming down, packers have an incentive to put their hogs at the start of the line.

The average weight of producer barrows and gilts is now at 213.2 pounds per carcass, 0.2 per cent higher than a year ago and almost a percentage higher than what it was in late March. The average weight of packer barrows and gilts, on the other hand, is 216 pounds, about 2 pounds (-0.9 per cent) less than a year ago.

Hog slaughter continues to run significantly above year ago levels and based on the last Hogs and Pigs report, slaughter should remain above 5 per cent through June. Weights that are at par with a year ago imply robust growth in overall pork production and ample supplies available through the spring.

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