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Ham Prices Firm for Now but Rest of the Complex Struggles

Wholesale pork prices showed some improvement towards the end of the week, mostly due to sharply higher ham prices. Demand from Mexico has been better than expected as hog values there continue to trade well above U.S. equivalent.

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Pork Supply Expectations from Latest USDA ‘Hogs and Pigs’ Survey

USDA inventory survey painted a picture of ample supply in the near term but lower production expected this winter and next spring.

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Seasonal Factors Impact Near Term Supply Outlook but Little Change in Expected Supply Availability into 2025

Hog futures turned higher at the end of last week as belly prices rebounded and speculation that cutout could start to see some support going into the 4th of July holiday and a 4-day weekend.

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Pork Processing Items Likely to Dictate Hog and Cutout Price Levels this Summer

Hog futures remain under pressure on uncertainty about outlook of processing items (hams, bellies, trim) this summer. Belly market appears to have more risk given slowdown in foodservice sales. Lack of frozen inventory continues to impact export markets, however.

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Domestic Pork Supply Expected to Remain Stable, Offer Retailers and Foodservice Operators the Ability to Manage Features and Menu Prices

USDA forecasts a modest decline in per capita availability in 2025 but still near the long run average of the last 15 years.

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Robust Exports Helped Lift Pork Prices in Q1, Will that Hold in the Spring and Summer?

Higher pork exports in Q1 resulted in a 1.7% decline in domestic availability despite higher slaughter/production.

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Robust Demand Supporting Pork Prices this Summer, Fall Outlook is less Certain

Hog slaughter has been running above year ago levels in the last two weeks but since early March slaughter has been about the same as last year while weights have been lower, resulting in less pork available in the spot market.

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Pork Supply Expected to be Above Year ago Levels in Summer/Fall but Robust Demand Drives Price Expectations

The quarterly survey of hog operations suggests that pork supply in 2024 will be modestly higher than in 2023. The breeding herd inventory is down 2% from a year ago but the reduction has been more than offset by productivity gains.

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Fresh Pork Trending Up, More Upside Price Risk for Q2

Cold storage report bullish, with pork inventories down in February vs. previous month despite increase in production. Total inventory at the end of February was down 12% from a year ago.

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Pork Supply Outlook for Spring, Summer and Fall, Plus Price Implications

Hog supplies expected to be higher y/y through spring and early summer, but supply risk is skewed to the downside considering cuts to the breeding herd and uncertainty about productivity growth going forward.

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