Pork Profit Maximizer – Retail Edition

March 4, 2019

The pork cutout last week was as low as $59.6/cwt, 23% lower than a year ago and the lowest cutout value since the fall of 2009. There is not one single reason for the sharp value erosion in the pork complex. Pork supplies have increased, something that was expected based on the December ‘Hogs and Pigs’ survey. Now that USDA has finally caught up with the actual slaughter statistics, we have a better understanding of both the supply of hogs that have come to market and pork production. Since the first week of December, US hog slaughter has been a total of 31.942 million head, 3.2% higher than the same period a year ago. This number is a bit higher than what the December survey suggested. The inventory of hogs over 120 pounds was estimated in the survey to be 2.5% higher than the previous year. Hogs weights have been higher than a year ago, which has further contributed to the increase in pork production.