Chris Hurt, Department of Agricultural Economics Purdue University
Recent Stories by Chris Hurt, Department of Agricultural Economics Purdue University
Hog producers say they are keeping breeding herd expansion at a low level, but there has been a recent tendency for expansion to be higher than indicated in Hogs and Pigs reports.
USDA reports live hog prices in January and February averaged below $40 for the first time in over a decade, says Chris Hurt, Purdue University.
The pork outlook looked bleak in August. Fear of large pork supplies and Mexican and Chinese tariffs appeared disastrous. The outlook is still suggesting losses this fall and winter but much less than thought in August.
Large pork supplies, rising costs, and potential trade retaliation from both Mexico and China continue to cast a shadow over the pork industry.
The 2018 outlook early this year was for modest profitability. Now, it has shifted to losses, and the reasons are clear.
The pork market has been favored by strong demand, however, a new threat to profit margins is being driven by dry weather in Argentina pushing up feed costs.
The breeding herd continues to expand at a slow-sustainable pace.