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CME: Hog Slaughter This Week Slightly Higher

by 5m Editor
5 October 2009, at 7:19am

US - Lean hog carcass future for Q4 of this year continue to hover at a little under $50 per cwt, which implies $36.5 on a live basis and negative margins anyway you look at it, write Steve Meyer and Len Steiner.

Producers have to wait until late next spring before seeing any (potential) profits, and that is predicated on the assumption that we will see continued sow herd liquidation this fall and winter and productivity growth returns to trend levels.

Hog slaughter this week was slightly higher than a year ago but after accounting for much heavier hogs coming to market, total US pork production this week at 469.4 million pounds was 3.5 million pounds or 0.8 per cent higher than a year ago. It is the largest amount of pork produced in the first week of October, and a reason why the market is finding it so difficult to get any upward price momentum.

Ham prices tend to carry the market at this time of year but given the available supply, ham prices actually were down 5 per cent or more compared to the week before and they are currently 42-45 per cent lower than a year ago, a troubling sign for overall pork wholesale values in the short term.