With 2008 hog slaughter forecast to be a record 117 million head, little good news was expected from hog prices this year. But as summer corn prices declined, hog prices took off. Normally, the hog-price peak comes in late spring or early summer. A July rally in cutout value helped push hog prices to record levels in early August.
Seasonally, hog prices decline as slaughter increases each fall — and this year slaughter will certainly increase. The futures market appears optimistic that summer 2009 will set many more hog-price records.