The months of January and February showed a solid pork demand in the first two months of het year, despite increases in swine slaughter and pork production.
This was the main message to be found in the Livestock, Dairy and Poultry report, published by the United States Department of Agriculture (UDSA) early March.
Average prices of live equivalent 51-52% hogs were $62.18 per cwt (100 pounds or 45 kg) in January (11.9% above January 2011) and $63.94 per cwt (3.8% above February 2011).
Retail pork prices in January averaged $3.50 per pound, 7.8% greater than a year ago.
First quarter expectations
Solid domestic pork demand is further reflected in quarterly disappearance estimates. USDA supply forecasts for the first quarter of 2012 point to a 2% increase in total pork supply.
First quarter prices of live equivalent 51-52% lean hogs are expected to be approximately $63-$64 per cwt (45 kg). For 2012, prices will likely average $63-$67 per cwt. The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will release the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs by the end of this month, which will report on swine inventories, as well as producer’s farrowing intentions.