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Sow prices jump to highest level since 2014

Sow prices jump to highest level since 2014

Mature hogs on trailer

Sow prices are rising while feeder pig prices remain steady, according to an analysis from the Livestock Marketing Information Center.

After sow prices peaked near $85 in March, numbers started shrinking, reaching a low of $50.16 in mid-June. Since then prices have jumped 78%, reaching $89.33 per hundredweight last week.

This is the highest price for 2021 and the highest since August 2014, according to the LMIC.

“Part of the rise in sow prices is likely due to increased demand for processed products such as sausages,” the LMIC said.

Sow slaughter through the second week of August was about 4.5% below year-ago numbers. While the pace is lower than 2020, that year also represented the highest yearly sow slaughter numbers in more than a decade.

“Compared to the five-year average, year-to-date sow slaughter is 9.2% above the same period, indicating producers may be taking the economic incentive of higher sow prices to rebuild the herd with gilts,” the LMIC said.

“The most recent June 1 Hogs and Pigs report showed farrowings were down 2.6% in the most recent quarter. Farrowing intentions are expected to be down 1.8-4.4% this summer, and the breeding herd was down 1.5% on June 1 from a year earlier. These supply factors point toward reduced feeder pig supplies in the near term, which is lifting feeder pig prices.

The LMIC said feeder pig prices typically show some seasonal decline through the summer before rebounding during the fourth quarter of the year.

“This year, the 10-12 lbs. feeder pig price fell $17.44 per head in 20 weeks, from a high of $58.23 in February to the low of $40.79 in early July,” the LMIC said. “Last year the price decline was $42.01 over 25 weeks while the five-year average price decline was $25.15 over 32 weeks. Prices for 40 lbs. feeder pigs made a counter seasonal move higher during the first quarter before moderating lower during the summer.

“Recent prices have averaged above $60 per head, a more than three-fold increase from a year ago and more than $20 per head above typical levels for this time of year.”

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Jeff DeYoung is livestock editor for Iowa Farmer Today, Missouri Farmer Today and Illinois Farmer Today.

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