Analysis: Hogs & Pork

Hogs Continue Lower On Weak Cash Markets

Apr 21, 3:32 pm | Hogs & Pork

Short covering again offered early and short lived support, before hog markets turned back down on Friday, leaving June hogs at the lowest level since last October while December closed back under $60. The cash market stayed down at the end of the week, with negotiated trade down $.47, and the cash index off $.30 at $61.59.   Hog slaughter this week totaled 2.287 Mil head, 3% over last week and 2.4% larger than a year ago. Kill totals have been well over last year nearly every week, and the 2017 year to date total is up 2%. So far, there has not been much of a seasonal decline in slaughter rates, and outside of holiday weeks, weekly kill totals are…

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Hog Liquidation Continues Through Thursday

Apr 20, 4:41 pm | Hogs & Pork

Hogs were lower at the open on Thursday, and early short covering support gave way to chart related selling pressure that kept the market under pressure into the close. The largest loss was up front in May, though $1+ losses were realized out to February. The cash index was off $.23 at $61.89, and projected another $.31 lower for Friday.   Weekly pork export shipments last week slipped below average and were the lowest of the year, while weekly sales were the largest since late January.  66% of the week’s sales were to China, and it was the largest 1 week Chinese pork purchase since August 2014. Accumulated exports are now at 119% of a year ago, with outstanding sales…

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Hogs Fall To New Lows At Midweek

Apr 19, 3:40 pm | Hogs & Pork

June hogs were sharply weaker at the open and selling kept prices under pressure into the close on Wednesday. June marked the lowest close since last October, while December hogs are still trading positive for the week. The lean index slipped another $.47 on Wednesday and projected another $.23 weaker for Thursday.      Wednesday’s hog kill was at 442,000 head and the weekly total now stands at 1.185 million, off 11% from a week ago as several plants were closed on Monday. As of Wednesday there were just over 180,000 head scheduled for Saturday delivery, and that figure is likely to reach 200,000 by late week.   Pork prices were mixed and the carcass value was down $.69 on weaker…

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4th Quarter US Meat Supplies

Apr 19, 1:12 pm | Cattle, Hogs & Pork

  The USDA’s Economic Research Service on Monday offered the latest updates on estimates to 4th quarter. The USDA estimated per capita beef disappearance in the 4th quarter at 13.8 Lbs, 0.2 Lbs under both the March estimate and 2016. Net beef exports are expected to be positive, and up slightly from a year ago, while quarterly production is expected to increase less than 1% from 2016. The piece of the per capita equation is the US population, which has increased by an average of 0.8%, which this year implies an additional 2.5 million people. In the pork estimates, the USDA looks for production to be up 6% and record large, while exports estimated to be increase 7%, also to a…

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Hogs End Sharply Mixed

Apr 18, 4:14 pm | Hogs & Pork

June hogs were steady at the open on Tuesday, but quickly turned South, in technical trading. Summer contracts finished lower, while Autumn and Winter hog prices ended higher for the day. The hog index continues to slide and was down $.60 at $62.59 and is estimated another $.46 lower for Wednesday, while the cutout gained $.52 to $75.48.   The latest estimates for hog producer returns, as calculated by Iowa State University, show both farrow to wean and wean to finish hog operations were profitable for the month of March. The return to sow units selling weaned pigs was estimated at $10.25/head, while hog feeders are estimated to have made $9.49 for the month. The CME today is showing summer…

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Hogs Start The Week Lower

Apr 17, 4:21 pm | Hogs & Pork

Hogs were lower at the open on Monday, and strength in June had resistance above unchanged, which left prices in a lower and narrow range through the remainder of the day. The lean index was at $63.19, down $.97 from Thursday, and projected another $.60 lower Tuesday. Negotiated trade was off $.60 from Friday, while the pork cutout value went from +.$67 in the morning, to $.38 higher in the afternoon at $74.96.  The chart reflects the weekly average spread between the pork cutout and the lean hog index, or an estimate for packer margins. The spread at the start of this week has the cutout at $12 over the index, versus $11 over last year and the 5 year…

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Hogs Turn Back Down In Technical Trade

Apr 12, 4:35 pm | Hogs & Pork

June hogs were weaker at the open and spent the morning trading in the red, and losses were extended in the last half of the day. At the close, June was just above this month’s low, but within a trading range that began developing in late March. The cash hog market continues to grind lower, with the index off another $.47 at $64.65, with Thursday’s projection another $.50 weaker.   Negotiated hog trade has all but become a thing of the past in recent years. In 2002, 15% of all hogs killed were purchased on a negotiated basis, but just 2% of last year’s slaughter was bought on negotiated deals. Most of the producer owned hogs are priced on a…

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April WASDE Livestock Price Forecasts

Apr 12, 3:08 pm | Cattle, Hogs & Pork

The USDA’s April pork estimates were adjusted to reflect the data reported in the March quarterly inventory report, though production changes from March were minimal. Producers reported that they intend to keep summer farrowings similar to a year ago, with Jun-Aug intentions coming in at 99.6% of last year’s actual farrowings. Excluding the 2014 PEDs outbreak, producers have consistently increased pigs/per litter through the summer quarter by 1-2% each year.With the latest farrowing intentions data in hand, USDA analyst increased their 4th quarter pork production forecast by 45 Mil Lbs (less than 1%), to a record large 7,015 Mil Lbs. The USDA’s 4th quarter average hog price forecast was unchanged at $36-38 live ($49-51 lean), and if realized, would be a $12 year…

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Hogs Move Higher In Technical Trade

Apr 11, 4:47 pm | Hogs & Pork

After a steady start to the day, hog futures were back and forth through much of the morning. Strong demand developed late in the day, that carried hog futures to strong gains ahead of the close. The cash market continues to trend weaker, with the index down $.61 while negotiated trade was off another $.30.   The April WASDE pork estimates were updated to reflect the results of the March hog inventory data, but did not offer any major changes. 2nd quarter production was lowered slightly, and the 4th quarter was barely increased. The 4th quarter is always the largest of the year, and US pork producers are expected to send just over 7 billion pounds worth of product to packers…

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Hogs Start The Week Firm

Apr 10, 4:14 pm | Hogs & Pork

Following a firm start to the week, hog futures traded back and forth on Monday, before ending from unchanged to higher. The best gains were realized at the back end of the hog market, with December gaining $.80 from Friday. The cash hog index was down $.42 at $65.73, and is projected to be another $.59 lower on Tuesday.   Hog slaughter last week was the 2nd smallest non-holiday kill total since October, and even lower kill total is expected for this week. Scheduled loads reported on Monday were down 5% from last week, and suggest that this week’s kill could slide back to 2.2 million head. Slaughter intentions were down for every day this week, with the largest decline…

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