Market forecasts throw pork producers a bone

While feed prices have nibbled at margins, producer groups and marketers say the signals are good for pork producers in 2021


By Alexis Stockford, Manitoba Co-operator (Canada)

April 29, 2021


Margins look good for pork producers — and so do the market forecasts, despite high feed prices cutting into farm profits.


Both cash and futures values have been in a steady climb since February, according to Bill Alford, general manager of H@ms Marketing Services Co-op.


“We haven’t seen these values since 2014,” he said, noting the “exceptional” market conditions and record prices of that year due to the hit to U.S. herd numbers from porcine epidemic diarrhea.


Why it matters: Current prices are a pleasant contrast from last year, when processing struggles from COVID-19 sent hog prices spiralling.


The co-op put weekly prices for the week ending April 17 between $219.63 and $236.80 per hundred kilograms (ckg), well above both three-year and five-year averages. As of April 17, the weekly H@ms cash price sat at $221.79 per ckg, over the three-year average of $147.31 per ckg and five-year average of $146.99 per ckg.


The price surge is largely demand-driven, Alford said, along with a tighter hog supply in the aftermath of COVID-19 processing issues last year and slightly higher disease problems in the U.S. also hitting herds...


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