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US Pork Exports Surge

by 5m Editor
17 March 2007, at 4:05am

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

Pork exports started the year of 2007 very strong, up 20.7% in total and Japan was up 42.9% from a year earlier.

Canada's purchases from us were up 4.2% in January, Mexico was down 12.4%, Russia was up 44.9%, South Korea was up 34.9%, China and Hong Kong were up 72.2%, Taiwan was down 31.6% and other was up 47.3%.

The U.S. net exports as a percent of production at 10.87% was a record high and up 2.92 percentage points from January of 2006.

Total pork imports by the U.S. in January were down 15.8% from a year earlier and imports from Canada during January were down 12.9%, from Denmark down 30.6%, from Poland down 13.3% and other down 8.2%.

Live hog imports from Canada were up 9.3% for January compared to 2006. Feeder pig imports were up 7.3% and slaughter hog imports were up 13.4%.

The larger pork exports is the major reason why the demand for live hogs completed 7 months in January with modest growth compared to a year earlier.

Even though feeder pig prices are about $0.30 per pound lower than a year earlier for 50-60 pound pigs, the prices are still quite good with nearly $4.00 per bushel corn. This week at United Tel-o-auction, 50-60 pound pigs sold from $91-107 per cwt and 60-70 pound pigs at $102 per cwt.

Barrow and gilt weights in Iowa and Minnesota were still below a year earlier last week but barely. The average weight last week at 269.1 pounds was 0.2 pound below a year earlier, but up 0.9 pound from a week earlier. This was the twenty-fourth consecutive week for weights to be below a year earlier. The weights getting closer to a year earlier probably is due, at least in part, to the storm-reduced slaughter in prior week.

The price of cuts per cwt of carcass this Thursday afternoon at $65.97 per cwt was down $1.89 per cwt from a week earlier. Loins were down $3.22 per cwt at $79.79 per cwt, Boston butts at $73.12 per cwt were down $0.05 per cwt, hams were down $3.61 per cwt at $49.67 per cwt, and bellies at $95.33 per cwt were down $0.20 per cwt from 7 days earlier.

It is that time of the year for slaughter to trend lower into early summer.

Live top prices per cwt this Friday morning $0.50-4.00 lower compared to last week. Weighted average carcass prices by area Friday morning were $0.46-1.04 lower compared to 7 days earlier. The top live prices Friday morning for select markets were Peoria $39.00 per cwt, St. Paul $39.00 per cwt, Sioux Falls was unavailable and interior Missouri $41.75 per cwt.

The weighted average carcass prices by area were: western Cornbelt $58.91 per cwt, eastern Cornbelt $57.32 per cwt, Iowa-Minnesota $59.02 per cwt and nation $58.40 per cwt.

Slaughter this week under Federal Inspection was estimated at 2,123 thousand head, up 5.9% from 12 months earlier.