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Ron Plain Hog Outlook: USDA Reports Released

Ron Plain and Scott Brown
Ag Economics, MU

September 25, 2105

Today's USDA Hogs & Pigs report says there were 3.9% more marketing hogs in the U.S. on September 1 than a year ago. The average of pre-release trade forecasts also was for the market hog inventory to be up 3.9%. USDA put the breeding herd at 101.1% of a year earlier. The average trade prediction was for 100.3%.

The September survey said producers farrowed 1.6% fewer sows this summer than last. USDA said producer farrowing intentions for September-November are for 2.5% fewer sows to farrow than last fall and December-February farrowings are expected to be down 0.7% compared to last winter.

Pigs per litter during June-August was up 2.3% and the summer pig crop was up 0.6% compared to a year ago.

USDA released their monthly Cold Storage report this week and the numbers were not good. There was 656 million pounds of pork in cold storage at the end of August. That was 20.7% more than a year ago and 3.6% more than a month earlier. The amount of beef and chicken in cold storage was also up. The total of frozen pork, beef, chicken and turkey at the end of August was 2.385 billion pounds, up 18.6% from a year ago and the most for any month since October 2002.

The national negotiated barrow and gilt price on the morning report today was $66.73/cwt, up $1.09 from last Friday morning. The western corn belt averaged $68.84/cwt this morning. There were no negotiated price quotes this morning for the eastern corn belt or for Iowa-Minnesota.

Peoria had a top live price today of $43/cwt, down $1 from last Friday. The top price today for interior Missouri live hogs was $46/cwt, unchanged from the previous Friday.

This morning's pork cutout value was $84.29/cwt FOB the plants. That is up 76 cents from the week before, but down $35.88 from a year ago. Packer margins continue to be very good. This morning's national negotiated hog price was only 79.2% of the cutout value.

This week's hog slaughter totaled 2.276 million head, down 0.1% from last week, but up 8.9% from the same week last year.

The average live slaughter weight of barrows and gilts in Iowa-Minnesota last week was 278.9 pounds, down 1.7 pounds from a week earlier and down 4.0 pounds from a year ago. This was the 26th consecutive week with weights lighter than last year.

It was a positive week for hog futures. The October lean hog futures contract settled today at $71.875/cwt, up 82.5 cents for the week. December hog futures ended the week at $65.775/cwt, up $1.625 from the week before. February hogs gained 57.5 cents this week to close at $68.95/cwt. The April contract ended the week at $71.85/cwt.

The December corn futures contract gained 11.75 cents this week to close at $3.89/bushel.

Source: AGEBB

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