Pork Prices Drifting Up

However, pigs are being marketed at lower weights because of high feed costs.

Published on: Jun 24, 2008

U.S. exports of pork products in April were nearly double what they were a year ago, according to the latest Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook from the Economic Research Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The report was released June 17, 2008.

The outlook noted that the U.S. exported over 439 million pounds of pork products in April, up more than 95% from April 2007. Second quarter prices were $52-$53 per hundredweight (cwt.) for 51-52% lean hogs, about the same as in the second quarter last year. Overall, prices in 2008 are forecast to be about $46-$48 per cwt.

The outlook for higher prices in 2009 is good news for producers in North Carolina where the state ranks second in the nation for Hogs and Pigs and first in the nation for the Annual Pig Crop. Hogs are forecast to bring about $47-$51 per cwt. next year, up $1-$3 per cwt over 2008.

On the other hand, expenses are rising as well. The report noted Canadian pigs imported into the U.S. were slightly lower in weight than expected, with the higher cost of feed attributed to be the cause. The report also said U.S. producers will likely market hogs at lower weights this year for the same reason.

For more, download the full report in PDF form at www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/LDP.