CME: July Pork Packer Margin Higher Than 2016's

US - On Friday, USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) published their estimated monthly retail meat and poultry prices, which use data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to calculate the Consumer Price Index, reports Steiner Consulting Group, DLR Division, Inc.
calendar icon 14 August 2017
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The ERS link is here. For July, ERS put their All Fresh retail beef price higher both month-over-month and year-over-year. Their Choice beef price was down from June’s but was slightly up compared to a year ago. The ERS pork price was above June’s and was the highest for the month of July since 2014.

Today, four US hog/pork industry graphics are provided. We start with the Iowa State University producer (farrow-to-finish) profitability estimates, which were higher for July (the link is here). The second graphic shows the per head estimated spread between the live hog price and the wholesale pork (cutout) value, including the byproduct (non-meat) items produced from a hog.

That spread is a traditional packer gross margin and does not include all their production costs. For July, the packer margin was above 2016’s. The last graphic is the spread per animal between the cutout and the ERS calculated pork price. That margin was below a year ago.

Given the featuring done by retail stores, the actual cutout to retail margin may have been even lower than shown. BLS may not fully capture specials -- retailers have priced meat to bring consumers into stores.

Below is our summary of USDA reported cash prices and production. Week-over-week, beef and pork production increased and prices softened.

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