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Hog markets 'exceptional' as of late

Hog producers have been seeing some good prices as of late.

Tyler Fulton is director of risk management with Hams Marketing Services.

"Forward contract prices have kind of reflected a pretty exceptional position compared to history. When you've got summer prices that exceed $280 per pig over several weeks on several different programs, it's exceptional. The one thing to note obviously is that feed prices are also exceptional and so what producers need to focus on is the margins that are available at those levels," he said. "We continue to see really volatile prices in the context of what's happening in the Ukraine with some pretty significant changes in supply over the course of the last six months and then demand factors that are still getting impacted by supply chain issues."

Fulton commented on U.S. cash prices.

"We've got cash prices this week ranging from $220 per ckg to $240 depending on the specific program. For this time of year, these are exceptional prices but again it's important to reference the fact that we are also looking at exceptionally high prices for soybean meal, other protein meals and corn and the carbohydrate component of the diet as well."

He also touched on the USDA's Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report released Wednesday.

"I think think the hog and pig report reflects a fairly steady trend in numbers. We've seen some pretty big fluctuations over the course of the last few months. The breeding herd is coming in relatively steady and that typically is the best indicator for long-term trends and I think what we can see is that we're probably through some of the quick dips in the volume of hogs that we've seen and maybe we'll start to stabilize over the course of the next year or so."

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