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Hog Outlook: 2014 Pork Production Forecast to Rise

23 July 2013
Ron Plain
Ron Plain

US - USDA's July production forecast has 2014 pork production at 24.135 billion pounds. They predict 2014 beef production to be 24.105 billion pounds. The last year that US pork production exceeded beef production was 1952, write Ron Plain and Scott Brown.

Domestic pork demand in May was up 1.0 per cent compared to a year ago by my calculations. After ten consecutive down months, export demand for US pork was up 1.3 per cent in May. Overall consumer meat demand was 0.9 per cent stronger this May than last.

Both hog prices and retail pork prices in June were the second highest ever. Retail prices for pork in June averaged $3.551 per pound. That was up 6.1 cents from the average for May, up 15.4 cents from a year ago, and a penny under the $3.561/pound record set in September 2011. The average live price for 51-52 per cent lean hogs during June was $72.65/cwt. That was up $6.62 from May, up $4.78 from June 2012, and $3.44 under the record set in August 2011.

As of 15 July, 66 per cent of corn acres were rated in good or excellent condition. That is down 2 percentage points from the week before, but up 35 points from a year ago. Corn prices are expected to plummet as we approach harvest.

The September corn contract ended the week at $5.44/bushel and December corn settled at $5.01. September soybean meal futures ended the week at $423.70/ton. December meal settled at $382.50/ton.

The national average negotiated carcass price for direct delivered hogs on the morning report today was $94.22/cwt, down $1.29 from last Friday. The eastern corn belt averaged $92.79/cwt this morning. Both the western corn belt and Iowa-Minnesota had a morning average of $97.64/cwt. Peoria had a top live price this morning of $64/cwt. Zumbrota, MN topped out at $66/cwt. The top for interior Missouri live hogs Friday was $69/cwt, down $3.00 from the previous Friday.

Friday morning's pork cutout value based on mandatory price reporting was $99.79/cwt FOB plants, down $3.21 from the week before, but up $8.59 from a year ago. Loins, hams and bellies were all lower this week. The average hog carcass price is 94.4 per cent of the calculated pork cutout value.

Hog slaughter this week totaled 2.007 million head, down 1.5 per cent from the week before, but up 2.3 per cent compared to the same week last year. Since 1 June, barrow and gilt slaughter has been roughly 0.5 per cent above what was expected based on the June inventory report. The average barrow and gilt live weight in Iowa-Minnesota last week was 272.0 pounds, down 0.9 pound from a week earlier, but up 3.5 pounds from a year ago.

The August lean hog futures contract closed at $96.47/cwt today, up $1.57 from the previous Friday. October hog futures ended the week at $84.97/cwt, up 77 cents from the week before. December hogs closed the week at $82.22/cwt, up 87 cents from the previous Friday.

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