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2010 US Pork Exports up Compared to Previous Year

by 5m Editor
21 February 2011, at 8:24am

US - Statistics Canada says the Canadian sow herd was down 1.1 per cent on the first day of 2011, but their market hog inventory was up 0.9 per cent, Ron Plain writes in his latest Hog Outlook report.

They forecast first quarter farrowings in Canada would be down 1.4 per cent, but the number of litters farrowed during the second quarter of 2011 would be up 0.7 per cent compared to a year earlier.

US pork exports in 2010 were up 3.2 per cent compared to the year before. Pork imports were up 3.1 per cent. The US exported 4.2 billion pounds of pork in 2010. That was 3.4 billion pounds more than we imported. In total, 2010 pork exports equaled 18.8 per cent of US pork production and imports equaled 3.8 per cent of our production.

The four biggest foreign buyers of US pork last year were Japan, Mexico, Canada, and South Korea, respectively. Together they purchased 70 per cent of our total pork exports. The biggest growth market last year was Mexico which bought 147 million pounds more US pork than in 2009.

Canada was the source for 80.7 per cent of US pork imports in 2010. Denmark supplied 9.2 per cent of our pork imports.

The value of pork exports ($4.08 billion) exceeded the value of pork imports by $2.8 billion. Pork exports were up by $500 million compared to 2009. We exported $43.65 worth of pork and byproducts for each hog slaughtered in 2010, up from $37.97/head the year before. Pork trade ended 2010 on a strong note. We exported 11 per cent more pork than in December 2009.

Iowa-Minnesota live weights for barrows and gilts averaged 272.9 pounds last week, down 0.9 pounds from the week before and up 4.5 pounds compared to a year earlier. The average carcass weight of barrows and gilts slaughtered the week ending February 5 was 206 pounds, up 1 pound from the previous week and 7 pounds heavier than a year ago. Since the first of October, barrow and gilt carcass weights have averaged 2.5 per cent above year-ago levels.

Hog prices ended this week lower than the week before. The national weighted average carcass price for negotiated hogs Friday morning was $79.24/cwt, down $3.62 from the previous week. The western corn belt averaged $79.51/cwt and Iowa-Minnesota averaged $79.55/cwt. No morning price report was available for the Eastern corn belt. The top live hog price Friday at Sioux Falls was $57/cwt. The top at Zumbrota was $55 and Peoria’s top was $54/cwt. The interior Missouri live top Friday was $57.25/cwt, down 1.50 from the previous Friday.

USDA’s Thursday afternoon calculated pork cutout value was $89.75/cwt, up 80 cents from the previous Thursday. Loins, butts, and hams were higher. Bellies were steady.

Hog slaughter totaled 2.089 million head this week, down 3.1 per cent from the week before and down 3.0 per cent compared to the same week last year.

The April lean hog futures contract ended the week at $92.27/cwt, down 10 cents from the previous Friday. The May contract ended the week at $100.55/cwt. June hogs settled at $100.77. July and August contracts also closed above $100/cwt.