Are Pork Prices About to Become Cheaper?

In January I blogged about hog numbers expanding. Now more expansion has happened within the state and nationally. That is good news on the supply side which hopefully equates to some lower prices.

Here is more from HoosierAgToday.com

Indiana’s total hog and pig inventory on March 1 was estimated at 3.65 million head, up 300,000 head from a year ago, according to Greg Matli, State Statistician, of the USDA, NASS, Indiana Field Office.

United States inventory of all hogs and pigs on March 1, 2015 was 65.9 million head. This was up 7 percent from March 1, 2014, but down slightly from December 1, 2014. Breeding inventory, at 5.98 million head, was up 2 percent from last year, and up 1 percent from the previous quarter.

Rise of the Pork

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Hoosier Ag reporter Cayla McLeland is reporting pork will be on the rise in the near future for the consumer.

Purdue Extension Ag Economist, Dr. Chris Hurt, says expansion could reach seven percent higher by the end of this year.

“Breeding herd has grown by over 212,000 animals over the last year and that’s mostly in the center of the country. The western corn belt breeding herd increased by 105,000 head with Missouri rising by 55,000 animals. Iowa by 40,000 and Minnesota by 10,000 head. The second-largest growth region was down in the southern plains and they’re still recovering, of course, from the long-term drought. Both Texas and Oklahoma have added 20,000 animals to the breeding herd over the last year.”

Consumers faced higher prices a few years back due to farmers thinning herds from the drought and the the PED virus hitting hard last winter.

Read the rest of the article here.

Beef Market Supply Dips Lower

The beef market supply is still low from the 2012 drought and supply numbers are still dipping which will only keep prices high for the foreseeble future. Here is the latest from the USDA.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, beef production came in at 2.09 billion lbs. That’s 9% down from last July. Slaughter totals are also trending down with 10% fewer cattle taken to the packer at 2.6 million head. However, live weights are moving up as feedlots and packers try to compensate for the loss of cattle. This July cattle averaged 1,320 lbs. when entering the processor, up 18 lbs. from last year. Overall red meat production was down 6% nationally. Only 3.91 billion lbs. of red meat was produced in this past month compared to 4.16 billion lbs. in July 2013.

From January to July of 2014 a similar drop off occurred with 3% less red meat produced at 27.4 billion lbs.

Pork Prices To Rise

Purdue Agricultural economnist Chris Hurt is projecting pork prices to head this summer into the mid $90 per head profit range for producers. Currently they sit around $70 per head. Excluding inflation from money printing, he states that smaller spring farrows from PEDv virus and growing foreign purchase of US pork is driving the pricing. Hurt has suggested farmers has seen this price indicator and plan to expand their pork farrows between 4-6%. His analysis also leads to lower pricing after September of this year after the $90/head profit is reached. Spring of 2015 bigger herd numbers should be seen.