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Pork Exports Up As Import Fall

by 5m Editor
17 February 2007, at 8:15am

US Weekly Hog Outlook, 17th February 2007 - Weekly review of the US hog industry, written by Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain.

Pork exports in December to Japan were up 22.7% from a year earlier and the fourth largest month of record. With the big December exports to Japan, pork exports to Japan were only down 3% for the year compared to being down 7.4% for January-October compared to 2005.

Pork exports for 2006 were up 12.4% from 12 months earlier. Our exports to Canada were up 7.5%, to Mexico up 13.2%, to Russia up 122.7%, to South Korea up 54.4%, to China and Hong Kong up 11.5%, to Taiwan down 5.4%, to Caribbean up 53.9% and other up 6.2% in 2006 compared to 2005.

Our pork imports were down 3.3% last year compared to a year earlier, Canada sales of pork to the U.S. were down 5.2%, Poland was down 5.3% and the Netherlands were down 21.7% in 2006 compared to a year earlier.

Net pork exports as a percent of production in 2006 was at 9.5%, up 1.62% from 12 months earlier. This is a major reason why live hog demand was up 0.1% from 2005, but consumer demand was down 4.5% from a year earlier.

In 1987, net imports as a percent of production were 7.59%, which is a 15.15% of production change in 19 years. Pork trade changes in those 19 years have added 0.8% annually to live hog demand in the U.S.

Live hog imports from Canada in 2006 were up 7% from a year earlier. Feeder pig imports were up 11% and slaughter hog imports were down 0.9%.

Good news this week from Canada: the breeding herd in Canada on January 1 was down 1% from a year earlier. The market herd was down 2.9% and the total herd was down 2.7% from 12 months earlier.

Live weights of barrows and gilts in Iowa-Minnesota for week ending February 11 at 266.8 pounds was down 0.2 pound from a week earlier and down 3.5 pounds from a year earlier. This is the twentieth consecutive week with barrow and gilt weights below a year earlier. For the 6 weeks ending February 11, the average weight of barrows and gilts in Iowa-Minnesota was down 2.63 pounds from 12 months earlier.

These lighter weights suggest hog producers have pulled marketings forward this winter probably due mostly to the higher prices of corn.

Pork cutout per cwt of carcass Thursday afternoon at $72.92 per cwt was up $2.60 per cwt from 7 days earlier. Loins were up $6.94 per cwt at $93.56 per cwt; Boston butts at $80.04 per cwt up $2.05 per cwt; hams were up $3.16 per cwt at $59.84 per cwt; and bellies at $97.99 per cwt were down $0.19 per cwt from a week earlier.

The live prices of hogs this Friday morning were $0.75-3.00 per cwt higher compared to last week. The weighted average carcass price for negotiated hogs was up $1.63-2.15 per cwt compared to 7 days earlier.
The top live prices for select markets Friday morning were: Peoria $44 per cwt, St. Paul $48 per cwt, Sioux Falls did not report and interior Missouri $46.25 per cwt.

How much slaughter this week was impacted due to the weather is not known. The slaughter estimate this week under Federal Inspection was 2,002 thousand head, up 0.6% from last year.

Cash feeder pig prices at United Tel-o-Auction this week were a bit stronger than two weeks ago in light test. 60-70 pound pigs sold for $80-85 per cwt.

5m Editor