Meat Supplies Will Support Hog Prices

Hog prices were record high in 2011. The average live-weight price for 51percent/52 percent lean hogs was $66.11 per hundredweight, up 20.1 percent from 2010, 60.3 percent higher than in 2009 and 12.5 percent above the 1982 record.  On a carcass-weight basis, negotiated hog prices averaged $87.05 per hundredweight in 2011.

Although pork production is expected to be up over 2 percent from 2011, forecasts are for 2012 hog prices to average close to 2011. Why? The supply of competing meat is expected to be down 3 percent, with beef down 4.1 percent and broilers down 2.9 percent. January retail pork prices were 3.4 cents per pound higher than in December and 25.4 cents higher than in January 2011.


Exports Should Hold Strong

U.S. meat exports were record high last year as pork, beef, chicken and turkey each set a record. Exports equaled 16.9 percent of total 2011 U.S. meat and poultry production, or 15.68 billion pounds, up 13 percent from 2010 and 9.7 percent above the 2008 record. 

Pork exports in 2011 equaled 22.9 percent of production, while imports equaled 3.5 percent, continuing a downtrend. They totaled 5.2 billion pounds worth $5.32 billion, or $48 per hog slaughtered.  The top foreign buyers and their share of U.S. pork were Japan, 28.5 percent; Mexico, 20 percent; China, 12.9 percent; Canada, 9.8 percent; and South Korea, 8.8 percent. U.S. exports set records despite record-high pork, beef and turkey prices. The weak dollar is key in driving  export records and should continue into 2012.


Hog Imports Likely to Mirror 2011

U.S. live-hog exports in 2011 totaled 30,359, of which 82 percent were breeding animals.  Meanwhile, 5.795 million live hogs entered the United States. That’s 0.8 percent more than in 2010 but 42.1 percent below the record set in 2007. All but six head came from Canada.  In 2011, imports equaled 4.8 million feeder pigs and 994,000 other hogs/pigs. About two-thirds of the feeder pigs weighed less than 16 pounds. Of the non-feeder pig imports, 50.6 percent were barrows and gilts for immediate slaughter, 42.8 percent were sows and boars for slaughter and 6.6 percent were imported for breeding. The number of swine which will be imported in 2012 is expected to be very close to 2011 numbers.