While many of us involved in pork production have a general idea of current prices and we generally pay attention to the Chicago Futures prices, I thought I would put current prices in laymans terms so we really appreciate today’s economic incentives. It also helps us better understand the risk management decisions producers are facing as go into today’s Hogs and Pigs Report.

Yesterday’s lean hog futures closed at $128.80 for Aug-14, $95.65 for Oct-14, 89.00 for Dec-14, 92.10 for Jun-15 and 79.25 for Oct-15. You fully don’t understand these prices until you put them on a per pig basis.

USDA inspected barrow and gilt carcass weights averaged 213.5 lb yesterday. For the sake of examining future income, I’ll use 210 lb carcass weights.

At this weight, the projected value by contract month per pig based on yesterday’s closing price becomes:

Aug-14 $270.48
Oct-14 $232.26
Dec-14 $200.87
Jun-15 $193.41
Oct-15 $166.43

Suddenly you can see the impact of expected future income streams based on the Chicago futures. Yes, there is the issue of basis (difference in Chicago price vs local price at time of delivery), but that impacts all months to some extent.