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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