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Grilling, Export Demand Fuels Live Hog Price Improvement

29 May 2015
Manitoba Pork Council

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CANADA - Strong demand leading up to barbecue season, combined with solid export demand, has been credited for improved live hog prices, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Over the past month, North American live hog prices have shown marked improvement.

Tyler Fulton, the director of risk management with h@ms Marketing Services, notes the Memorial Day holiday is considered the official start to grilling season in the US, so prices have rallied, right up to the last available days that retailers could be filling orders.

Tyler Fulton-h@ms Marketing Services

It's largely a grilling market.

That influences certain cuts of the animal, of wholesale pork cuts more than others, but I think what's going to be interesting is how the whole carcass performs over the course of the next month or so.

There's a lot of hype about how high some of the fresh pork cuts that are typically destined for grills, like ribs and loins, and they didn't disappoint.

The question is whether or not they have staying power at these high levels.

The other factor on the demand side is export demand. It's been really quite solid over the course of the last two months, picked up significantly from where we started the year, and so as long as that's kind of maintained I think the trajectory will at least be steady if not slightly higher.

Mr Fulton pointed out that relative to beef prices, pork represents really good value from a consumer standpoint, so pork has benefited from a larger portion of the market share over the past month or so.

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