This market update is a new PorkNetwork weekly column reporting trends in weaner pig prices and swine facility availability.  All information contained in this update is for the week ended April 5, 2013.

Breakeven price for a weaner pig was $37.52 based on closing futures prices on April 5, 2013 and the assumptions outlined below.  This is up $2.48 from last week.

Margin over variable costs was $60.32 and refers to the revenue generated from raising a weaner pig that contribute to fixed costs and pig purchase costs. In other words, if the alternative is to idle facilities every dollar between the purchase price and margin over variable costs contributes toward covering those fixed costs such as facility, labor, utilities, property taxes and insurance.

Weaner Pig Breakeven

$37.52

Margin over Variable Costs

$60.32

Pig Purchase Month

April, 2013

Live Hog Sale Month

October, 2013

Average SBM Basis

$0.00

Average Corn Basis

$0.11

Nursery cost/space/yr

$36.00

Finisher cost/space/yr

$42.00

Other Feed & Drug cost

$26.00

Assumed Carcass Weight

 205.00

Hog Basis net of Premiums & Freight

$0.00

Note that the weaner pig profitability calculations provide weekly insight into the relative value of pigs based on assumptions that may not be reflective of your individual situation. In addition, these calculations don’t take into account market supply and demand dynamics for weaner pigs and space availability.

National Direct Delivered Feeder Pig Report: Week Ending March 29

Cash traded weaner pig volume was much lower this week with only 27,470 head trading. That is only 54 percent of the four week running average. Reported cash prices were up $4.65 per head from a week ago at $28.45 and the low to high range was $1.07 per head narrower.

Cash Sale Weaner Pig Volume

24,740

Weighted Average Cash Price/head

$28.45

Cash Low Price/head

$21.00

Cash High Price/head

$32.00

The number of weaner pigs sold on a formula basis was down 23 percent with 38,439 head being reported at an average price of $38.48.

Facility Spaces

As listed on ePigflow, there were 36,095 finishing spaces available and 11,800 nursery spaces available. That is up 35% on a combined basis.

Ryan Cooney is general manager of ePigflow, an online market for weaner pigs, feeder pigs and facility spaces. You can find available pigs and facilities by visiting www.epigflow.com.