US pigs retreat from highest price this year

By Joanna Levin

CASH prices for live pigs slipped below 40¢/lb again last week, after climbing to the highest level this year. Terminals ranged from 39.50-40.50¢/lb, with prices dropping off towards the end of the week.

But futures prices are holding their ground in choppy trading, suggesting that many players expect the market to recover this week. Packers are expected to buy strongly this week, especially as cut-out values are improving and thereby widening packers margins.

The Chicago June lean hogs contract closed on Monday (11 May) at 61.67¢/lb, up 0.75¢ from Friday and a 0.17¢ gain on the week before.

The slaughter rate last week was 1.847m head, little changed on the previous week, but up sharply from 1.615m head a year ago.

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