New plants ease hog market worries

Farmers should get a year of strong packer demand and aggressive cash prices — unless U.S. President Donald Trump blows up the North American pork market.

That’s how Hams Marketing’s director of risk management, Tyler Fulton, looks at 2018.

“I’m pretty optimistic that these new plants will shake up the dynamic enough that we will be looking at significantly tighter packer margins,” said Fulton, referring to the new slaughter plants that are coming into full production and creating lots of competition for live hogs.

Farmers should not have to worry about a squeeze in the fourth quarter of 2018, the traditionally most risky time for the market, because of all the new capacity, Fulton said.

That makes the steady growth of the U.S. hog herd a less alarming prospect than it would be without those new packing houses.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture in December found that the U.S. herd is still expanding and might even be expanding at a slightly faster clip. U.S. farms weaned 33.4 million pigs between September and November, which was a three percent increase year-to-year.

As well, Fulton described U.S. consumer demand for pork as “rock solid.”

As long as that continues, the increasing amounts of bacon, ribs, shoulders and hams should be able to be mostly consumed within the United States, although U.S. pork will still need the export market to clear the growing supplies.

However, everything could go sideways if Trump ends the North American Free Trade Agreement, Fulton fears. Mexico is a major buyer of U.S. pork, and if the U.S. and Mexico get into a trade war or if trade flows are simply interrupted or slowed, the Mexico-destined pork could begin piling up in the U.S., creating a domestic glut.

That would be bad for Canadian pork prices because Canadian prices are based on the U.S. market and millions of Canadian hogs and many tonnes of Canadian pork end up in the U.S.

If trade wars break out in North America, there could be all sorts of repercussions.

That’s why Fulton, like most agriculture market analysts on both sides of the border, are hoping NAFTA manages to survive and trade tension can dissipate.

“I want a deal so that Mexico doesn’t retaliate with some tariffs on U.S. pork,” said Fulton.

“I just want more of the same.”

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  • Monkeeworks

    Here we go again. This article is more of a complaint about Trump than pork. Trump, Trump, Trump. Everyone blames Trump. He has made the world open their eyes to politics and what is going on, you can’t deny that. Look at the U.S. stock market, you can’t deny that, look at the U.S. jobs, you can’t deny that, look at the factories coming back and new ones moving back to the U.S., you can’t deny that. He has put over $1k a year back into every working household with his tax slash. Walmart has given ALL their employees across the U.S. raises and bonus’ (about a $1.00/hr) and $1,000 bonus’ depending on years of service all because of the savings they will get on his tax cuts. Floor prices won’t be touched to cover the cost of the raises. Same with Chrysler/Fiat. Plus Chrysler/Fiat is moving their heavy truck production plant back to the U.S. from Mexico. Plant construction has already started, 2,500 new permanent jobs. Electronic companies moving from Japan to the States to open billion dollar factories. Innovation is on the rise. Factories are expanding, Work Visa applications from around the world from people wanting to move to the States at an all time high that want to move with the technology. Even Elon Musk, now advertising trips around the moon and back within two years. Trump said Obaba-care was imploding, and it did. He tried to head it off but was stopped by the Democrats and a few republican/democrat wanna bees’.
    Lots more being made to happen because of one man looking after his country. He is putting America first, you can’t deny that.
    He doesn’t walk the fence, he does what he says he will do.
    The media is all over him in every negative way possible and we know the media is owned by a few rich men who want more power and are Clinton affiliated. Latest sex scandal against him was a woman who claimed he was ‘ogling’ her. That one got laughed down, never heard from her again. One man, one man, a democrat, says he heard Trump say Africa and Haiti were ****holes of countries. He heard this while walking by an office. Part of a conversation he was not a part of, eaves dropping? Point is, one man said he ‘heard’. He was not part of the conversation he heard a few words and immediately ran to the media with it. Look how the world media and governments react from one man saying he ‘heard’ someone say….because of the media.
    Thing is, he said it would be America first and he is keeping his promise. Wish our PM here in Canada would put Canada first and do what he said he would do to get elected.
    So,on to NAFTA and pork. If the U.S. can get a better deal on pork imports and make it cheaper for Americans, what American will be against that? If the Canadian government could get a better deal on pork exports and make a better profit for the exporter and producer what Canadian is going to be against that? If we worried more about our country and less about what other countries think about us we would all be better off. An ‘A’ rating in PM personality does not put an extra scoop of veggies on a kids plate whose mother is struggling to feed and keep the heat on for her family and sending her kids to school hungry. Yeah, this is Canada. No excuse.
    What did we do before NAFTA? We traded with Mexico and the U.S.,. With less government interference.

    • Harold

      Clearly you have a good Idea of how fake our own Canadian media is. Exposing to Canadians what is truly going on in the USA exposes Trudeau and the Liberal party’s ineptness so therefore our Canadian media ignores it. What is missing in the hate Trump media (if they have hate they have a story) is that the USA welcomes the whole world of immigrants with the exception of terrorists and those who will not live up to American values. The USA has a cap of a million immigrants per year and when the majority are selected from one isolated area the policy denies the rest of the remaining world the same opportunity – and that is what Trump was referring to. If you give three quarters of your immigration to only a small section, then the rest of the millions in the world who wish to immigrate only have a share in the remaining quarter or less. The United States is Historically full of immigrants coming from all over the world and Haiti deserves no more favor than any other area or Country. The only reason a person migrates is because their country is a hole. How many people want to migrate to Haiti and why they don’t; it is not because of the people who live there or racism; Haiti is not the land of opportunity. Calling Canada a ****hole has nothing to do with the people here but it has everything to do with government here and Trudeau, for example, and if bad enough Canadians will migrate calling Canada a hole.
      One other striking thing; if Trump had never been elected, it would have been business as usual and no one would have been the wiser – so you can see why they hate him; he exposes to the world the Democrats and the republicans past mediocrity. If Trump is unsuccessful – it makes the Democrats look good, and that is the motive behind the Democrats obstructive and hates filled actions. Trump has also exposed how incredibly stupid the Talk show hosts are and how stupid the Hollywood actors are when they are off of the Movie set. The bigger question that I have is: how much more will he expose? Trump got elected because he promised the Americans that he wouldn’t turn into a politician if elected – and he didn’t – and Americans are experiencing the difference that it makes. There is a saying that if you don’t read or watch the news you are – uninformed – and if you read the news or watch the news you are – misinformed and today the saying has never been more true. Unlike Trump, even with “an ‘A’ rating in PM personality”, no one, including Canadians or the Media gives a damn about the whereabouts of Trudeau or what he might be doing or saying today. I know the subject matter and I was pleased to read your comment.

    • John Fefchak

      I may have missed seeing it, but I did not spot Trump in the midst of those pigs. So, as far as I am concerned, the pigs have the spotlight on centre stage.
      So other than verbally supporting or criticizing President Trump, at coffee and shop talk, there’s not a great deal that Canadians can do…and besides we have our own Prime Minister to deal with!

      • Harold

        The Article did place Trump in the spot light with the pigs (the topic) by the statement; ”everything could go sideways if Trump ends the North American Free Trade Agreement.” The current NAFTA – a trilateral trade agreement deal – (sub title – Pork sales) includes the USA, therefore Trump is very influential if he should decide to abandon the NAFTA deal leaving the only option available to Canada thereafter are separate bilateral agreements with Mexico and the other with USA; contrary to all of the hysteria, bilateral trade agreements are not doom and gloom. Trade is vital and it never disappears -only old and out dated contracts do.
        Speaking of Trudeau, In speech he did say: “sunny ways, my friends, sunny ways” but perhaps written he may have been saying – sonny ways, my friends, sonny ways. They do sound the same and this would certainly explain why the man has never been able to answer a simple question and could explain his delusional thoughts about Canadians.
        Like Monkeyworks, I am a little fed up with Canadian Media and their constant disingenuous criticisms of Trump and all while our failing Prime Minister and cabinet are favorably left out of their spotlight. Recently, the Finance Minister broke an ethics rule and as you know is being investigated for yet another broken rule and as of yet Trudeau has not removed him from that office in a Cabinet shuffle. Why; Because Trudeau has broken four ethic rules himself and therefore he has tied his own hands and now Canadians, under his leadership, have no immediate resolve to the Ethic violations and now have to let it fester until the next election; If Trudeau is re-elected his hands will remain ethically tied and the same will continue; the violation does not disappear while he holds office. The lame and void media which pretends to be informative, but is actually bankrupt in comparison, informs to misinform.

  • Denise

    OMG! Look at the poor condition these poor pigs are in. They are so beat up. Living is such crowded conditions takes its toll on them.

    • DAVE

      omg look at all the hungry kids in the world

      • Denise

        No excuse for mistreating these animals when you have the means to provide them with a humane life. Hog producers should be grateful, treat them well and give them the respect they deserve.
        They give their lives so that the hog industry can live the “hylife”.
        These hogs provide protein for a lot of people. They are the foundation of the hog industry. They, absolutely, deserve some respect and a decent existence.

      • Harold

        I cannot speak for Denise, but personally I would not give you the power to turn my head especially when you think that turning ones head is the solution to a problem. What does animal cruelty in any of its forms have anything to do with the hungry kids of the world. Perhaps you believe that the hungry will die if they don’t eat abused pork as if that is the only food that there is for them.

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