Farmer's Report

Pork Trends - June 14, 2019

Pork market information comes from the week of June 3, 2019.

Last week, the USDA estimated hog slaughter was 2.417 MM, a healthy increase over both the previous week and same week last year.

The USDA released export figures for the month of April. Overall exports this April were down 4% against both April and Q1 in 2018. Exports to China are up 2% vs. last year. US pork exports to South America continue to be very robust.


Prices in the loin complex moved higher. Pork chops are being heavily promoted in the retail channel for grilling season, which is fueling the market. Pricing on loins over the next few weeks will depend on how aggressively the retail channel decides to promote loins for Independence Day ads.


Pork tenderloin prices were steady. Prices have been slowly trending higher as grilling season demand builds. Pricing of pork tenderloins typically peaks in July.


Pork butt prices continued to move lower. Historically, pork butt prices get some support and rebound slightly higher on the approach to Independence Day promotions.


Trades were reported as mixed in the rib complex. Backribs continued to gain strength, but seem to be forming a peak. Sparerib prices continued to remain unsettled and dip lower. Rib prices typically start to move lower post-Independence Day.


The belly market rebounded higher. The belly markets normally experience a rally leading into July, due to strong summertime bacon demand. The belly market has been extremely volatile.


Ham prices continued to move higher. Current price points are well above last year, a likely sign of increased demand. In addition, trade talks with Mexico, a large importer of US-produced hams, look to be improving. Last year, ham prices were a bit of a roller coaster from now through October.


Trimming prices bounced higher. Normally, trimming prices are bullish heading into summer, due to strong processor demand for hot dogs and sausages in lieu of grilling season. These markets historically peak right around Independence Day.


Prices for both the bone-in and boneless picnics were relatively steady. Boneless picnic prices are correlated to 72% lean trimming prices as an alternative raw material, and normally peak in late June. Bone-in picnics are expected to be choppy.