Perseverance in the pork sector

Image 1. Estimated Alberta Price and Total Cost per Hog Source: Western Hog Exchange – Weekly Regional Hog Price Report (using Alberta Olymel West 20)

Declining consumer purchase power is putting pressure on demand.

“The pork sector is experiencing a fluctuation in prices,” says Ann Boyda, livestock market analyst with the Alberta government. “The North American hog market is facing post-covid challenges stemming from high feed costs, labour shortages and industry consolidation.”

In Alberta, estimated hog production returns suggest producers experienced losses from mid-December 2022 to early June 2023. Costs, primarily feed costs, have shown improvement since start of 2023 and hog price increases have resulted in positive returns over the summer. The year-to-date (January to August 11, 2023) average price per hog with Olymel West 20 is $233.23 per head. Average year-to-date total costs were $238.27 per head.

“Global hog supplies are tightening as the U.S., Europe, and China are in various stages of sow liquidation,” concludes Boyda. “Global plant closures suggest that contraction may continue and although pork demand was stronger in 2022, the declining consumer purchase power is putting pressure on demand.”