December 11, 2003



US Pork Demand At Consumer Level Marginally Down; Live Hogs Demand Up


In January to October this year, US' demand for pork at the consumer level was down a little over 2% compared to the same period last year, say Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain, University of Missouri agricultural economists.


However, demand for live hogs for the same 10 months was up 2.4% from the same period in 2002.


In recent weeks pork production has been running about 5% above the same weeks last year and negotiated hog prices for the United States on Thursday morning were over $3.00 per hundredweight of carcass above a year earlier.


These values suggest at the current time demand for live hogs is 5% - 7% above a year earlier say the economists. Grimes and Plain also believe that demand at the consumer level is currently above year ago levels.


The economists say pork is likely getting some demand assistance from the very high beef prices.


Pork loin and Boston butts prices were down last Friday versus the previous weeks, while hams were higher. Hams are expected to weaken substantially in the next week or two because the holiday demand will be over.

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