Highest hogs prices since 2014

Steep runup in hog prices has been made possible by steep runup in pork cutout value.


Ron Plain, National Hog Farmer

Apr 26, 2021


Hog prices have risen for the last 14 weeks and are at the highest level since the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PED) outbreak of 2014. It has been a fast price runup. The 2021 national negotiated prior-day purchased carcass prices first exceeded $60 on February 3, first exceeded $70 on February 23, exceeded $80 on March 3, exceeded $90 on March 22 and first exceeded $100 on April 12.


Last week’s national negotiated cash carcass price averaged right at $107/cwt. (I don’t yet have the average for Friday.) That was the highest weekly hog price since the average of $107.66/cwt. for the week ending on August 15, 2014. By the way, the record high negotiated hog price for a week is $129.87/cwt. for the week ending on July 11, 2014 (also during the PED outbreak). Last week’s hog prices were more than triple the $33.89/cwt. average for the same week last year, when COVID-19 among packing plant workers forced plants to drastically reduce slaughter schedules.


Last Friday, the May lean hog futures contract closed at $109.35/cwt. That is the highest close for any hog futures contract since October 14, 2014 when the October contract closed at $109.53/cwt. By the way, the highest close for any lean hog contract came on July 17, 2014 when the July contract closed at $134.01/cwt.


The futures market expects hog prices to trend lower from May to December. On Friday, the May hog futures contract closed $3.63 above the June contract which was $1.19 above July and $3.38 higher than August. The price decline is expected to be sharp this fall...


more, including charts [4]