Sale weights for the first 3 weeks of August typically are 96.8 percent of early January sale weights in the Iowa-Southern Minnesota market. When I average the Iowa-Southern Minnesota weekly live weight at slaughter data for the past ten years, sale weights begin their fall increase on week 33 of the year. By November 1, weights are back to January weights, and in some years higher than early January weights.
This week is week 33 of the market year and I expect to see weights begin their annual climb shortly. Unlike all of the previous 10 years, sale weights in this market this summer remain above 100% of the January weights. The reasons for this increase are many but include:
- more space in facilities due to PEDv induced shortages of pigs,
- cooler than normal temperatures (especially cooler than normal dew points in the upper Midwest)
- decreasing feed grain prices leading to heavier sale weights because of a lower incremental cost of gain
Nationally, the same lack of summer decline in weights is evident. Since July 1, the weighted 5 day rolling average weight of all barrows and gilts slaughtered under USDA inspection has been between 213.05 and 214.09 lb. These are just below the 2014 week 1 average of 214.6 lb.