The amount of pork in cold storage at the end of May was 662 million pounds. That is down 5.6 percent from the month before (which was a record 701 million pounds), but up 4.1 percent compared to a year ago.
Retail pork prices averaged $3.49 per pound in grocery stores during May. That was up 3.2 cents from April and up 8.2 from May 2012. The record for retail pork prices was set in September 2011 at $3.561 per pound.
The average live price for 51-52 percent lean hogs was $66.03/cwt in May. That was $8.32 higher than in April and $7.52 higher than in May 2012.
As of June 16, 64 percent of corn acres were rated in good or excellent condition. That is up 1 percentage point from the week before and up 1 point from a year ago.
The national average negotiated carcass price for direct delivered hogs on the morning report today was $98.05/cwt, down $2.81 from last Friday. On the morning report today, Eastern corn belt hogs averaged $98.30/cwt. Neither the western corn belt nor Iowa Minnesota had enough sales early today for a morning price quote. Peoria had a top live price this morning of $66/cwt. Zumbrota, MN topped at $69/cwt. The top for interior Missouri live hogs Friday was $69.75/cwt, down $1.50 from the previous Friday.
Friday morning's pork cutout value based on mandatory price reporting was $107.71/cwt FOB plants, up $5.01 from the week before and up $11.61 from 3 weeks ago. This is the highest pork cutout price since mid August 2011. Both bellies and butts set new record highs this week. The average hog carcass price is 91.0 percent of the calculated pork cutout value.
Hog slaughter this week totaled 1.981 million head, up 1.6 percent from the week before and up 1.1 percent compared to the same week last year.
The average barrow and gilt live weight in Iowa-Minnesota last week was 275.0 pounds, unchanged from a week earlier, but up 2.9 pounds from a year ago.
Year-to-date hog slaughter is down 0.2 percent and pork production is down 0.8 percent.
The July lean hog futures contract closed at $99.75/cwt today, up $1.73 from the previous Friday. August hog futures ended the week 70 cents higher than last at $97.45/cwt. October hogs settled at $85.10/cwt and December ended the week at $82.30/cwt.
The strength in cutout and hog futures this week makes us optimistic for higher hog prices next week.
Corn futures ended the week up slightly from the previous Friday; soybean futures ended the week 20 cents or so lower than at the start.