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Pork exports start strong, rising 20.7 percent in ’07

Hog Outlook<br>Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain<br>University of Missouiri-Columbia<br>

Pork exports in 2007 started strong, up 20.7 percent in total and Japan was up 42.9 percent from a year earlier.

Canada’s purchases from us were up 4.2 percent in January, Mexico was down 12.4 percent, Russia was up 44.9 percent, South Korea was up 34.9 percent, China and Hong Kong were up 72.2 percent, Taiwan was down 31.6 percent and other was up 47.3 percent.

The U.S. net exports as a percent of production at 10.87 percent was a record high and up 2.92 percentage points from January 2006.

Total U.S. pork imports in January were down 15.8 percent from a year earlier and imports from Canada during January were down 12.9 percent, from Denmark down 30.6 percent, from Poland down
13.3 percent and other down 8.2 percent.

Live hog imports from Canada were up 9.3 percent for January compared to 2006.

Feeder pig imports were up 7.3 percent and slaughter hog imports were up 13.4 percent.

The larger pork exports is the major reason why the demand for live hogs completed seven months in January with modest growth compared to a year earlier.

Even though feeder pig prices are about 30 cents per pound lower than a year earlier for 50-60 pound pigs, the prices are still quite good with nearly $4 per bushel corn. This week at United Tel-o-auction, 50-60 pound pigs sold from $91-107 per cwt. and 60-70 pound pigs at $102 per cwt.

Barrow and gilt weights in Iowa and Minnesota were still below a year earlier last week but barely. The average weight last week at 269.1 pounds was 0.2 pound below a year earlier, but up 0.9 pound from a week earlier.

This was the 24th consecutive week for weights to be below a year earlier.

The weights getting closer to a year earlier probably is due, at least in part, to the storm-reduced slaughter in prior week.
The price of cuts per cwt. of carcass on March 15 was $65.97 per cwt. - down $1.89 per cwt. from a week earlier. Loins were down $3.22 per cwt. at $79.79 per cwt., Boston butts at $73.12 per cwt. were down 5 cents per cwt., hams were down $3.61 per cwt. at $49.67 per cwt., and bellies at $95.33 per cwt. were down 20 cents per cwt. from seven days earlier.

It is that time of the year for slaughter to trend lower into early summer.

Live top prices per cwt. this Friday morning 50 cents to $4 lower compared to last week.

Weighted average carcass prices by area Friday morning were 46 cents to $1.04 lower compared to seven days earlier.

The top live prices Friday morning for select markets were Peoria $39 per cwt., St. Paul $39 per cwt., Sioux Falls was unavailable and interior Missouri $41.75 per cwt.

The weighted average carcass prices by area were: Western Cornbelt $58.91 per cwt., Eastern Cornbelt $57.32 per cwt., Iowa-Minnesota $59.02 per cwt. and nation $58.40 per cwt.
Slaughter this week under Federal Inspection was estimated at 2.123 million head, up 5.9 percent from 12 months earlier.

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of Farm World. Readers with questions or comments for the authors may write to them in care of this publication.

This farm news was published in the March 21, 2007 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.