Analysis Leads to Prediction of Record High Hog Slaughter
USDA has not issued an official hog slaughter tally for the month of August – but Reuters has analyzed daily data and is projecting that 9.9-million head were slaughtered during the month. That’s the highest-ever for August and is at least partly attributed to record-high feed costs caused by the worst drought in five decades. Jim Robb – Director of the Livestock Marketing Information Center – notes the pace of slaughter normally increases in the fourth quarter. If that happens – Robb says hog prices are headed lower. The prices of hog futures at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange are already hovering around 20-month lows. Another reason for the push to slaughter – according to analysts – is cooler weather – which helped hogs gain weight faster. Robb adds that the conception rates of sows are better in the first half of the year – resulting in more hogs coming to market in the second half.