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Pork Supply Expected to be Above Year ago Levels in Summer/Fall but Robust Demand Drives Price Expectations

The quarterly survey of hog operations suggests that pork supply in 2024 will be modestly higher than in 2023. The breeding herd inventory is down 2% from a year ago but the reduction has been more than offset by productivity gains.

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Fresh Pork Trending Up, More Upside Price Risk for Q2

Cold storage report bullish, with pork inventories down in February vs. previous month despite increase in production. Total inventory at the end of February was down 12% from a year ago.

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Pork Supply Outlook for Spring, Summer and Fall, Plus Price Implications

Hog supplies expected to be higher y/y through spring and early summer, but supply risk is skewed to the downside considering cuts to the breeding herd and uncertainty about productivity growth going forward.

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Lower Inventories Underpin Prices Going Into Spring

Supply of pork in cold storage at the end of January was 10% lower than a year ago and like the tight inventory situation we experienced in 2021 and 2022.

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Stable Pork Supply Provides Retailers and Foodservice Operators with a Predictable Marketing Environment in 2024

Pork supply has recovered, with slaughter over 2.6M consistently in the last four weeks. Since December 1 slaughter is up by more than 3% y/y, double the rate of increase indicated by the inventory survey.

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After Several Short Slaughter Weeks, Spot Market Will Take Some Time to Recover. Prop 12 Demand a Wild Card Going Forward.

In the last four weeks hog slaughter is down 2.3% lower than a year ago, and that’s after a 2.7M week last week. Spot supply has been tight following holiday and winter weather disruptions and it will take some time for it to recover.

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Short Holiday Slaughter and Weather Impact Spot Supplies in the Near Term, with Processing Items Affected the Most

Short holiday weeks and winter storms across the Midwest have impacted processing and resulted in tight spot supplies. Slaughter in the last three weeks has been under 2.3M head/week, about 300k head less per week than in early December.

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Productivity Gains More than Offset Herd Reductions, Setting the Stage for Higher Pork Production in 2024

Hog slaughter continues to outpace estimates and, based on the latest ‘Hogs and Pigs’ survey results, slaughter should remain higher y/y through the spring and summer.

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Pork Supply Continues to Outpace Estimates in the Near Term

In the last three weeks hog slaughter has been near 2.7 million head, well above expectations. We estimate that Sep-Nov slaughter was 1.7% higher than a year ago, well above the 1% increase indicated in the Mar-May pig crop.

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2024 Outlook Thoughts and Potential

Demand remains a primary challenge that could impact the pork market in 2024.

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