Weather stifles demand
Extreme cold and snow in the United States slowed hog movement, and some packers might cancel orders this week.
There was concern that meat demand could suffer if winter storms shut in consumers in high population areas of the U.S. East Coast.
Iowa-southern Minnesota hogs delivered to packing plants were $58-$59 US per cwt. Jan. 3, up a little from $58 Dec. 27.
Ron Plain and Scott Brown of the University of Missouri noted in their weekly report that the average live weight of barrows and gilts in Iowa-Minnesota two weeks ago was 282.3 pounds, up 1.7 lb. from a week earlier and up 6.5 lb. from a year ago. The annual average Iowa-Minnesota live weight at slaughter in 2013 was 275.8 lb., which was the fifth consecutive yearly record.
The estimated pork cut-out value was $82.79 Jan. 3, little changed from $82.85 Dec. 27.
Estimated weekly U.S. slaughter to Jan. 4 was 2.011 million, up from 1.843 million in the previous week. Last year in the same week slaughter was 1.972 million.
Plain and Brown noted that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Dec. 27 hogs and pigs report estimated that pigs per litter in November was 10.04. That was down from 10.16 pigs per litter in November 2012.
The number of PED virus cases increased with the approach of winter and is widely believed to be the cause for reduced litter size in November.
The Canadian Bison Association had no report last week but in the previous week said Grade A bulls in the desirable weight range reached as high as $3.70 Cdn per pound hot hanging weight. Grade A heifers sold at prices up to $3.55 with sales to $3.55 in mid December.
Animals outside the desirable buyer specifications may be discounted.
Sheep steady to higher
Ontario Stockyards Ltd reported 644 sheep and lambs and two goats traded in the week to Dec. 27. All classes of lambs sold steady to higher. Good lean sheep traded extremely high. Too few goats traded to establish a price.