Pork industry analysts discussed the Hogs and Pigs report released Wednesday by USDA. Among topics discussed by some of the analysts were producer cost risks in 2010. The analysts also provided their predictions on 2010 hog prices.

Soybean and soybean meal prices may present an increasing risk to pork producers as 2010 unfolds, says Dale Durcholz, senior analyst, AgriVisor Services, Bloomington, Ill. 

The analyst points to the risk posed by a potential problem with the Brazil and Argentina soybean crops. ”Conditions have been good so far in their growing season but we really don’t know much about the crop except acreage,” says Durcholz.  “Pork producers need to watch their input side risk, protein in particular, as we go forward.”

Durcholz looks for hog prices around $60 per hundredweight carcass in the first quarter 2010 based on the Iowa-Minnesota market. He looks for prices to improve in the second quarter to the mid- to high $60’s. Third quarter may peak out in the low $70’s, predicts Durcholz. “At this point, there are too many unknowns to make a prediction for fourth quarter.”

Glenn Grimes, Extension livestock economist, University of Missouri, sees a range of $58 to $62 per hundredweight carcass for the first quarter, mid- to upper $60’s for second quarter, upper $60’s for third quarter and upper $50’s to low $60’s for fourth quarter.

John Lawrence, Extension livestock marketing specialist, Iowa State University, sees hog prices at $62 to $66 per hundredweight carcass for first quarter 2010, $70 to $74 for second quarter, $69 to $73 for third quarter and $64 to $68 for fourth quarter.

Editors note:
It was announced during the comment session that Glenn Grimes, Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri and long-time contributor of insight and advice to the pork industry, will retire. Pork magazine would like to take this opportunity to thank Glenn for his many years of invaluable service to the pork industry and wish him the best in his retirement.