Cash Hog Prices Face Typical Seasonal Pressure but Futures Markets Remain Good

Farmscape for December 1, 2021

Full Interview 6:31 Listen

The Director of Risk Management with HAMS Marketing Services reports, while the cash hog market continues to face pressure, the futures market looks good. With U.S. hog numbers running three to four percent lower than one year ago the hog slaughter has been manageable but we’re seeing significant seasonal price pressure. Tyler Fulton, the Director of Risk Management with HAMS Marketing Services, observes the cash market has seen mixed influences with a lot of factors at play, but overall, still good solid demand.

Clip-Tyler Fulton-HAMS Marketing Services:
We are seeing a split in terms of the difference in price for committed versus non committed hogs. If there’s any references made to the pork cut-out, those are holding up a lot better than those that are just being delivered into a U.S. plant without any contract in place.
It’s that segment of hogs that’s uncommitted and generally a very small portion of the whole supply that’s drawing things down because, as we move up to these high production levels that we’ve been running at, it just goes to show that the packers don’t want to pay that extra dollar for hogs that they need quite as much. There’s always that kind of dynamic that’s happening in the market and so we’re seeing, in large part, that weakness come from that factor right now. From a futures standpoint, things still look really very good. All be it feed costs and cost of production are extremely high given the high prices of soybean meal and corn but we’ve still got scenarios where we’re still trading at close to 200 dollars a pig on average across the first six months of the year. That’s a good scenario to be in but, in the context of the high feed prices, it’s not as good as one would think but still probably some opportunity there.

Fulton says, with the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, which typically marks one of the lowest levels of cash pricing over the year, behind us we’ll hopefully see some improvements.

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