pig prices

UK pig sector – looking up, and looking over the edge

Pig production in the UK has a long history but the stats suggest that the sector has shrunk significantly in the last two decades and it now provides only about half of the country’s pigmeat needs. Farmers have blamed the industry’s loss of competitiveness on: disease outbreaks, high feed prices, environmental regulations, the multiple retailers, and, Continue reading

Hogmageddon in the autumn?

The US hog price has behaved like the proverbial dead cat in the last few months. It was falling and then it bounced – and now it’s back on the floor, twitching. I fear this may portend a very weak global hog price in the autumn. Indeed, we may finally get “hogmageddon”. This contrasts with Continue reading

PEDv drives a hog price rollercoaster – have we been here before?

US hog prices

The chart shown alongside shows how US hog prices have risen – and fallen – in response to the spread of PEDv.  From late February onwards a mixture of fear and greed, mainly driven by market rumour, has driven hog prices up and up. Prices have moved up to be about 60-70% higher than at the same time last year and commentators are full of talk about “record highs”. Price shocks like this don’t happen often in national or global markets Continue reading

Is H7N9 supporting the US hog price?

The first three quarters of 2013 looked set to be planned, and probably painful, for US hog farmers. After record prices and record exports in 2011 and 2012 last summer’s hike in feed prices spoilt the prospect of a winter holiday in Florida as hog margins turned negative. But, according to the census data, farmers gritted their teeth, held on to their sows,  and hoped for better weather and a big corn harvest in 2013 in the expectation that improved productivity and the age-old hog price cycle would get them through the winter of 2012/13. If and when feed prices dropped in the autumn of 2013 they expected to get their reward.

But it hasn’t worked out quite like that.

North American hog prices have fallen back in 2013 – and so have Europe’s – but not by as much as might have been expected. And yet US pork exports are Continue reading