Allan Bentley, Sales & Technical Manager
Being this is a market commentary let start with that. Iso wean price last Friday was almost $35/head delivered. Last year it was $61. Everyone has a different breakeven, but I think we can agree that a sow farm selling iso weans is losing at least $5/head. After about 10 months of losing an average of $25/head. Historically iso wean prices are at the high price for the year. So, let’s review, loses of $25/head for 10 straight months, now at the peak price for the year the sow farms selling iso weans are losing $5. Going forward, who knows but history says we will go back to about $15/head for Iso weans at current feed cost and current future prices.
As I write this, I believe June hogs are setting all new lows for the 2-year history of that traded month. This just won’t continue. I have discussed and I think Jim Long has mentioned, it is apparent we need to get rid of sows. How many? Well, it sure in the hell is less then we currently have! My stab in the dark is we will be at 5.5 million sows sometime the end of this year. There has been too much financial blood spilled, there are too many wore out buildings and frankly too many wore out backs of producers. I am going to let Jim fight with the Pork Board about the inability of Pork to compete with other meats. I think we all agree Pork has to taste better and let’s face it for 40 years that is not the direction the Pork Board has taken us.
So, being I won’t fight with the Pork Board I am going to say. My sister-in-law had a 60-day aged prime rib that we had New Year’s along with some adult beverages. She paid $200 for that aged angus prime rib. It was worth every God Dam penny. Absolutely delicious so although I am not going to pick a fight with the Pork Board for getting us here today, I will say, people are willing to $20/lb. for a mighty tasty piece of meat! It is a sad business to be in that the only way to be profitable is to drop supply. A business model should be driven by demand and that supply can’t keep up. Maybe the Pork Board wake up smell the coffee and fix it. They know how and they have the tools to do it. Every one of them has my phone number to discuss how.