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Weekly Review: May Pork Exports Sharply Lower

by 5m Editor
18 July 2009, at 8:39am

US - Weekly review of the US hog industry, written by Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain.

As expected, pork exports in May were sharply lower than a year earlier down 36.2 per cent from the record-high month a year earlier. Pork exports in May were also down from every month this year indicating that the H1N1 flu was probably a factor in the smaller exports.

Every country's purchases of pork from us in May were below a year earlier with the exception of Australia, which was up 31.8 per cent from 2008. Russia's imports from the US in May were down 0.6 per cent from a year earlier but up 72.7 per cent from April 2009. This was a surprise because they stopped purchasing from all states that had reported the flu in May. Mexico's imports of pork from the US in May were down less than three per cent; but for January-May, Mexico's buy of pork from the US was up nearly 54 per cent from 2008.

For January-May, US pork exports were down 16.8 per cent from 2008 but still up nearly 34 per cent for the same five months in 2007.

Pork imports for January-May were down 5.3 per cent from a year earlier. Net pork exports as a per cent of production for these five months at 14.4 per cent were down from 17 per cent in the same months last year.

Live hog imports from Canada in May were down 36.5 per cent from a year earlier. In January-May live hog imports were down 36.1 per cent from 2008.

Feeder pig prices at United Tel-O-Auction this week were mixed compared to two weeks earlier. Nationally, feeder pig prices last week were steady to $1.00 per head higher than seven days earlier.

The United pigs all weighed between 50 and 60 pounds and sold from $45-50 per cwt. Nationally, ten-pound-basis pigs sold for an average of $22.23 per head. The formula priced ten-pound-basis pigs last week sold for $34.13 per head, and negotiated or cash ten-pound-basis pigs sold for $11.95 per head. Forty-pound-basis pigs, formula priced averaged $49.41 per head, and negotiated 40-pound-basis pigs sold for $21.50 per head. It is also a rough world for feeder pig producers who are selling on the cash or negotiated market.

The cutout per cwt of carcass Thursday afternoon at $63.92 per cwt was up $5.99 per cwt from a week earlier. Loins at $80.71 per cwt were up $10.64 per cwt, Boston butts at $65.90 per cwt were up $3.67 per cwt, hams at $52.78 per cwt were up $3.43 per cwt and bellies at $81.19 per cwt were up $9.80 per cwt from seven days earlier.

Cash live prices for barrows and gilts Friday morning were steady to $1 per cwt higher compared to a week earlier. The weighted average negotiated carcass price Friday morning at $0.48 - $1.14 per cwt was higher compared to seven days earlier.

The top live prices Friday morning were: Peoria $36 per cwt, Zumbrota, Minnesota, $38 per cwt and interior Missouri $41 per cwt. The weighted average negotiated carcass prices for barrows and gilts by area were: western Cornbelt $56.32 per cwt, eastern Cornbelt $56.26 per cwt, Iowa-Minnesota $56.32 per cwt and nation $56.28 per cwt.

Slaughter this week under Federal Inspection was estimated at 1,954 thousand head, down 8.6 per cent from a year earlier.