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Jim Long Pork Commentary: No joy in hog town

Our sense is that the US - Canada swine production sector is getting worn out by the markets and lack of profitability over the last couple years. The hog market has eaten producer equity.

8 November 2019, at 4:24pm

Producers see lean hog futures reflecting profitability, but there is a sense of mistrust if it will become reality. All know about China but the attitude is “Show me the money.”

We always hear about hedging and risk management using future options but we have never seen any data that indicate producer participation. Maybe it’s because most producers think of the lean hog futures as a Las Vegas Casino where the house always wins in the end.

Whatever the reason, our sense, lots of producers are questioning their long term future.

Other observations:

  • If Paylean makes hogs grow faster, the banning of Paylean (Ractopamine) by JBS and Tyson could mean 180,000 hogs per day grow slower. Will this cut carcass weights?
  • Feeder Pig break evens $70 for a 45 lb. pig. US Cash Market $44. Spread as wide as we have ever seen. Never better time to buy pigs to put on feed.
  • The US Sow price has had a big jump over the last month. See Below: (cents per pound)

Big Sows have jumped (550 lbs.) $82 a head in a month. Shows how fast a market can change. Markets usually move when we least expect. No one, we expect, thought sows could jump $82 a head in a month.

We believe at some point small pigs and market hogs, will have an unexpected jump.

The Real Marketing Edible Artificials Truthfully Act

(This from the National Hog Farmer)

A Legislative Act that addresses deceptive labeling, “The Real Marketing Edible Artificials Truthfully Act” would address deceptive labeling practices in alternate protein and require plant-based meat alternatives to be labeled as “imitation” meat.

The legislation introduced by Congressman Roger Marshal (R-KS) and Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) will codify the definition of beef for labeling purposes, reinforce existing misbranding provisions to eliminate consumer confusion, and enhance enforcement measures available to the USDA if the Food and Drug Administration fails to take appropriate action.

The National Cattlemen’s Association is supporting the bill. As Pork producers we should too. It will only be a matter of time before “imitation” pork-meat will be marketed.

Let the “initiators” call it what it is. Don’t “piggy back” on our product names.

Chlamydia

Seems that the chlamydia- lack of estreus issue that has been a factor over the last while in some gilts is being recognised. We understand major credits are being offered as compensation for the problem.
If you had problem best to get in line to get yours.

US Exports

US Pork Exports last week were the highest since July 2015, except for the two weeks earlier. China Exports reported last week (10, 220 metric tons), Second highest week on record. (Highest two weeks earlier). No doubt there appears to be more pork being exported.

The ASF issue is going to lead to more exports to China, Viet Nam, Philippines and South Korea.

Metafarm

Metafarms is the leading Pork Production- Analytic System. Below is the average of 270 farms, re: Sow production last quarter.

Couple Numbers jump out at us; Sow Death & Destroy Rate of 12.2 percent and Pig weaned lifetime at 40.9. Seems to us there must be lots of female breeding stock that are far from robust.