Retail pork prices January through October 2004 were up 5.3 percent from 2003. All of the increase in retail pork prices plus some was built into live hog prices, which were up nearly 39 percent in October from October 2003. For January through October 2004 live hog prices were up 29.7 percent compared to the same time in 2003, says Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain, University of Missouri agricultural economists.

Demand for live hogs for January through October was up nearly 12 percent from the same time in 2003 and demand for pork at the consumer level from January to October 2004 was up 2.5 percent from January to October 2003, according to the Missouri economists.

The supply of pork produced in the U.S. for January to October was up between 3 and 4 percent and live hog prices were up nearly 30 percent from 2003. This demand growth is due to both foreign trade and stronger domestic demand. Plain and Grimes estimate that 85 percent of the demand growth is domestic.

The total pork marketing margin for January through October was down 3.3 percent from a year earlier. The processor-retail margin was down 2.9 percent for the first 10 months was up 2.5 percent from a year earlier.