Hog futures continue to set new records highs daily. Prior to February 2014, no hog futures contract had ever closed above $108/cwt. The April lean hog futures contract settled at $119.30/cwt today, up $6.30 from the previous Friday. May hog futures ended the week at $123.80/cwt, up $6.05 from the week before. June hogs gained $7.35 to close at $127.85/cwt. The July contract ended the week at $124.50/cwt, up $5.95 for the week. August closed at $122.50/cwt.
Cash hog prices climbed to record levels this week. The national average negotiated carcass price for direct delivered hogs on the morning report today was $110.47/cwt, up $7.59 from last Friday, up $27.93 from four weeks ago, and up $37.62 from a year ago. The western corn belt reported a morning average of $113.67/cwt. Neither Iowa-Minnesota nor the eastern corn belt had a price quote this morning. Peoria had a top live price today of $74/cwt. Zumbrota, MN topped at $77/cwt. The top price Friday for interior Missouri live hogs was $78.50, up $5.75 from the previous Friday.
Friday morning's pork cutout value was $122.65/cwt FOB the plants, up $11.56 from the week before and up $45.11 from a year ago. This morning's hog carcass price averaged 90.1 percent of the cutout value.
U.S. pork exports during January were up 4.5 percent compared to 12 months earlier. China, Mexico and Colombia were the primary growth markets. January exports equaled 21.2 percent of U.S. pork production.
January pork imports were up 2.1 percent from a year earlier with most countries, except Canada, sending us more pork than a year ago. January imports equaled 3.3 percent of production.
Hog imports were down 16.7 percent in January with feeder pig imports down 16.6 percent. Other live imports were down 17.7 percent compared to January 2013.
Iowa State University calculations estimate the typical market hog sold in February turned a profit of $33.59 per head. That was the best February return since 1979. ISU estimates the cost of production for February sales at $56.30/cwt, down for the 13th consecutive month.
The number of new cases of PED virus continues to climb. Each of the last 6 weeks prior to March increased the number of farms with the disease by more than 250. There are 27 states with PEDv. Iowa, Minnesota and North Carolina have the most cases.
Hog slaughter this week totaled 2.024 million head, down 2.1 percent from the week before and down 7.9 percent compared to the same week last year. Hog supplies are tight and some plants are planning to slaughter hogs only four days per week.
The average live weight of barrows and gilts in Iowa-Minnesota last week was 282.1 pounds, up 0.3 pound from a week earlier and up 5.2 pounds from a year ago.