(Le Mars) — Despite expansion within the pork industry and trade tariffs, hog prices have actually been steadily rising over the last few weeks. Since March 20th, lean hog prices have been on the increase, going up more than $15. That trend has surprised many people, including pork producers.
Iowa State University Extension Agricultural Economist Lee Schultz says the hog market has been rocked with volatility. He offers an explanation of the latest market trend.
(As said): “I think what was driving the lower prices in the early part of 2019 was impacts of retaliatory tariffs, and impacts on the trade that we
expected. And then really, through late March and April, we really seen the
impact of A-S-F (African Swine Fever) situation in China, and the potential
for really global protein demand from China and that really made our markets
rocket up here. And then recently, I think it has been the markets you know
the supply situation weighing on it a bit as well as now the new news of the
delayed in the trade negotiations talks I think has all been working on the
market and why we see such volitility lately.”
Schultz says we are entering the key period of demand for pork, which should
also help keep prices somewhat higher.
(sot) Schultz :41 outcue: “domestic situation.”
(As said): “We’re into baseball season that’s usually the ramp up to summer
grilling, and now we have three really big summer holidays in front of us
with Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and Father’s Day. While a lot of purchases
have already been made for Mother’s Day, we’re looking still at several
holidays in front of us and demand is very strong. I think that is a good
indication as to why the prices are where they are at. I think for the
short-term here, that domestic demand situation will help boost prices. I
think the real question is when we get into the dog days of summer. Is there
an impact on demand, and that’s where you could see an impact on the domestic
The Iowa State University Agricultural Economist says profitability levels
are higher for the pork producer than what has been seen for the last few
years. Schultz says prices have dipped a bit within the last couple of
weeks, but he remains optimistic for a bullish price outlook for pork
producers for the remaining months of 2019 and into 2020.