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Wholesale Pork Prices Offer Opportunities for Retail Features in the Spring

Lean hog futures have declined by more than 10% in the last few days due to ongoing demand uncertainty this spring.

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Demand Concerns Keeping Spring & Summer Futures in Check

Pork cutout futures continue to signal lower wholesale prices for the spring and summer as demand eases lower following the COVID-related spike in 2021 and 2022.

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Weather Disruptions Prop Up Prices, But Demand Concerns Persist

Hog slaughter was lower last week as snowstorms disrupted the transportation of hogs to processing facilities. U.S. hog producers are still incentivized to pull hogs forward as current prices are below the cost of production.

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Weaker Demand to Start the Year While Domestic Supply Expected at 2022 Levels

The pork market continues to trade sideways on ample supply and, more importantly, a weaker than expected demand across a range of items.

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Supply Surprise Weights on Market, Prices

Despite 2% decline in slaughter anticipated by the USDA, pork supply coming to market continues to be far higher that expected.

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Large Slaughter, Weak Bellies Dragging Cutout/Hogs Lower

Hog slaughter was near 2.7 million head last week as producers sought to schedule hogs that were backed up due to winter storms and holidays. Slaughter is expected to be lower this coming week, in part because some plants will be dark on Monday for MLK holiday.

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Inventory Survey Points to Tight Supply Near Term, Modest Increase in Summer/Fall

USDA hog inventory survey suggests that hog slaughter will be down 2% y/y through May, but then increase about 1% to 1.5% for the summer months. The increase in the breeding herd and more pigs per litter should increase supplies in the second half of 2023.

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Wholesale Pork Prices Lower on Seasonal Effects, High Slaughter

Slaughter is at annual highs, while retail demand for fresh pork has yet to kick in. Ham prices have eased as Christmas orders have been filled.

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Short Holiday Week Drives Volatility but Hog Supply Picture Remains Tight for Now

Slaughter numbers should be near the highest levels for the year and will be at least 100k head/week lower in Jan/Feb. This should bolster prices for some fresh pork items, such as loins and butts.

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Supply Picture Remains Tight, With Demand a Wild Card After the Holiday Season

Tight supply remains despite packers ramping up slaughter ahead of the upcoming holidays.

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