Uncertain Pork Demand Contributes to Hog Market Volatility


Farmscape for May 29, 2020

Full Interview 9:50 Listen

The Director of Risk Management HAMS Marketing Services says the turmoil caused by COVID-19 has made it extremely difficult to gauge demand for the various cuts of pork and the influence of demand on live hog prices. The impact of COVID-19 on U.S. pork processing capacity continues to pressure live hog prices. Tyler Fulton, the Director of Risk Management with HAMS Marketing Services says demand for all of the different cuts is erratic due to the fact we’re not seeing significant volumes going through food service and disruptions to export markets and export demand due to COVID-19.

Clip-Tyler Fulton-HAMS Marketing Services:
It’s really difficult to wrap your head around what the demand situation is. I think one could say that, if one was only measuring it from at home consumption, at home consumption in Canada, I think one could say that it’s never been higher, never been better. But we don’t really have numbers that can tell us that, not yet anyway and that doesn’t give us the full picture because we are so reliant on those export markets and we are very much reliant on the restaurant business to market some of those cuts, predominantly bellies for example.
Most of those bellies are consumed in restaurants as opposed to at home. There’s just a real hodgepodge, a real disruption, some record high prices that we’ve seen in the last few weeks and some extremely low prices like we’ve seen for hams.

Fulton says there’s lots of different things happening and lots to consider and it’s difficult to say what the weighted average demand is across all of those cuts.

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