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Breeding Herd Expected To Be Down, Keep Supply Growth In Check.

Hog inventory report to be released 9/28 is expected to show breeding herd down 1.5% to 2% vs. year ago. The reduction may be offset by continued productivity gains but overall supply for next year is expected to be about the same as it was in 2023.

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Holiday Shortened Week Supports Product Markets…For Now

Hog slaughter last week was less than expected, in part because heat and big slaughter before Labor Day resulted in tight spot hog supply. Slaughter may remain below year ago levels next week but eventually it is expected to jump over 2.5m head later in the month and into October.

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Lower Belly Prices, Cutout Set The Stage For Fall Market

Belly prices collapsed late in the week, dropping almost 35% from the previous week. A big part of this was the big increase in slaughter but also higher prices at retail and seasonal decline in demand.

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Higher Production And Yet Less Domestic Supply

USDA currently forecasts per capita domestic supply of pork available down 2.9% from a year ago and at almost the same level in 2024. These are the lowest in a decade.

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Ham And Belly Price Gains Underpin Cutout

Wholesale pork prices continue to move higher as some buyers have been caught short. Much of the recent increase in price is due to higher belly prices but loin and ham prices have seen a notable seasonal increase.

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Tight Supply, Short Bought Buyers Cause Runup In Processing Pork Products

For those who had forgotten about seasonality in pork prices, the last few weeks have been a good reminder. Pork supplies declined in Jun/July and early August due to a combination of lower slaughter and lower carcass weights. We estimate that since early May pork supplies are down 9%.

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Prices Rebound On Prop 12 Timing Speculation, Seasonal Factors

Prop 12 speculation has skewed the market for the last few weeks, initially as fear caused some inventory dumping and then inventory building based on guidance that anything produced before June 30 would be allowed into California through the end of the year.

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Seasonal Factors Drive Prices Higher But Fall Market Outlook Remains Uncertain

Hog slaughter has declined from 2.45 million head/week in early May to nearly 2.3m hogs currently. Additionally, hog weights have declined at a faster rate than normal, further reducing spot availability.

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Modest Recovery in Futures on Higher Cash, A Bit More Clarity on Prop 12

The market remains highly uncertain. Bellies have been and continue to be a major drag for the wholesale index, accounting for about half of the decline in wholesale prices. With large inventories and expected lower California demand, the price upside risk for bellies is lower than in previous years.

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Prop 12 Uncertainty, Slowdown in Demand, Continues to Pressure Prices

Prop 12 has end users in California depleting inventories of product that will not be compliant by July 2. This is having a negative impact on spot pricing.

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