Pork producers relieved by corn improvement
Pork producers can breathe a
sigh of relief as corn prices are beginning to drop following contract highs in
June and early July amid crop concerns as a result of spring
After reaching a high of nearly $8 per bushel, December 2008 corn futures
are now trading around $5.60.
The falling prices are due to several factors such as lower oil prices,
shrinking ethanol margins, slowing corn exports, increased wheat feeding and at
least some signs of reductions in the swine herd.
However, the biggest
factors are the improvement in crop conditions and hopes of a larger crop than
previously expected. On July 27, 66 percent of the crop was rated in good or
excellent condition compared to only 58 percent on the same date last year.
USDA's August Crop Production report will provide key data on planted
corn and soybean acres and a more up-to-date grain harvest forecast. National
Agricultural Statistics Service re-interviewed 9,000 farmers in mid-July to try
to get a more accurate picture of actual plantings and acreage intended for
That information will be incorporated into the August
production forecasts; however, such data are subject to revision as the growing
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