Iowa Public Television


Strong Demand Boosts Pork

posted on June 25, 2004

There was plenty of news for the markets to digest this week. For starters, the U.S. Census Bureau's oilseed crush for May was well above trade estimates; the Chinese formally lifted an import ban on shipments of South American soybeans; and, the United States has asked the World Trade Organization to investigate Mexico's 20 percent tax on beverages made with sweeteners like high fructose corn-syrup.

The big buzz in the livestock pits, meanwhile, remains the red-hot consumer demand for pork.

Strong Demand Boosts Pork The U.S. Department of Agriculture's June quarterly hogs and pigs report was released on Friday afternoon. As predicted, the report affirmed substantial March through May slaughters and Canadian imports. The report also suggested continued increased production for the next few months, and a modest reduction in breeding intentions for the remainder of the year.

The report stated the total number of hogs and pigs were slightly higher than one year ago at 101 percent, while hogs kept for breeding were down slightly at 98 percent. The result for kept-for-market also was slightly higher at 101 percent of a year ago.

The current trend in pork production is being driven by consumer demand influenced by meat bans around the world imposed to battle the threat of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and various forms of avian influenza (bird flu).

Memorial Day kicked off the summer grilling season and intensified demand despite record production. The peak of the summer grilling season is quickly approaching, and the Fourth of July may bear witness to further predictions of the continued demand for pork and reduce concerns that the success of the first part of the year will not continue.

Tags: agriculture animals livestock markets meat news pigs pork trade