By Joanna Levin

PIG prices in the USA have rallied by almost 10% since the start of the month, with sharp gains experienced in the last week of trading. The market has now recovered its recent losses, returning to the levels seen in mid-August. Prices have been boosted by strength in cattle values and a belated reaction to cheaper grains.

Market commentators report that the pig market is being driven by the higher cash prices paid for slaughter animals. The cash hog market is at 30.00-31.50¢/lb (39.2-41.2p/kg) at the terminals, compared with prices of well below 30¢ seen in recent weeks.

However, analysts warn that this strength could prove vulnerable if producers attempt to take advantage of firmer prices by bringing more supply to market, while packer demand is having trouble keeping pace.

The Chicago October lean hogs futures contract closed on Wednesday 16 September at 40.87¢/lb (53.4p/kg), down 0.30¢ from Tuesday, but up from around 38¢/lb last week.

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