Author Archives: Chris Hurt

Pork’s Boom and Bust Price Pattern

Markets can take your breath away and the hog market over the past year has left many breathless. A year-ago in March, the new PED virus was the talk in the livestock media. Baby pig death losses of nearly 100 percent were the reality for some herds. The disease was not well understood and was spreading rapidly. There was trade talk that death losses were so high that 20 percent of pork production could be lost in 2014. Unfortunately, in the early stages the pork industry had no way of measuring the national baby pig death losses. Fear set in among some pork buyers-"What if bacon was not available to put on fast food hamburgers, What if tasty BLT sandwiches have to become only LT sandwiches?" Hog and pork prices exploded to record highs with the national live price reaching $100 per hundredweight. Continue reading

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Beef Expansion Is Underway

The nation’s cattle producers are expanding the herd at a somewhat faster rate than had been anticipated. In the semi-annual update of cattle numbers, USDA said that the total number of cattle and calves had increased by somewhat more than one p… Continue reading

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How Did Cattle Prices Get So High?

Where did the record cattle prices this year come from? That is a question almost all analysts and many cattle producers are asking. It was not so surprising to have record high cattle prices, but the real surprise was the lofty heights of those… Continue reading

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Pork: PEDv Losses Not As Large As Expected

The headline for the last USDA Hogs and Pigs report could have been: "PEDv Losses Not as Large as Expected." A week later, spring and summer lean futures are down nearly $10 per hundredweight, or about eight percent. Continue reading

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Hog Prices Take Off, Probably Due to PED-V

How large are the losses of baby pigs due to PED-V (Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus) and how will the losses reduce slaughter supplies this spring and summer and for the rest of 2014? No one knows the correct answer, but lean hog futures market … Continue reading

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Pork Industry Starts Modest Expansion

Much cheaper feed has led the pork industry to begin an expansion that is expected to continue throughout this year. The current expansion means that pork supplies will begin to grow more rapidly in the last-half of 2014. Feed prices are expecte… Continue reading

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