Record Hog Slaughter Tests U.S. Processing Capacity

Farmscape for January 3, 2019

The Director of Risk Management with [email protected] Marketing Services says record fourth quarter U.S. hog slaughter has demonstrated the ability of processors to keep up with the volumes of hogs being produced but issues related to trade remain a concern.
In the fourth quarter of 2018 we saw record U.S. hog slaughter.
Tyler Fulton, the Director of Risk Management with [email protected] Marketing Services, says the week leading up to Christmas, saw the largest ever weekly slaughter, somewhere in the neighborhood of 2.7 million hogs.

Clip-Tyler [email protected] Marketing Services:
That's a huge one week production.
It was largely packers pulling hogs ahead of schedule, adding some shifts before the holidays came in.
What it does is it provides a bit of insight into how many hogs they can actually process in a given week when push comes to shove.
That was kind of the theme.
We saw pretty consistent record high slaughter numbers over the course of the fourth quarter, as was anticipated but actually the numbers were probably not quite as high as what originally we thought we were going to see based on the last Hogs and Pigs Report and so it was probably a little bit more manageable and I think the prices have probably firmed or at least stayed a little but firmer than they otherwise would have based on the previous predictions.
I think the bigger question is going to come from the trade situation over the course of the next six to eight months.
We need to get a resolution  to the Mexican pork tariffs that have been applied in retaliation to the steel and aluminum tariffs that the United States have applied to not only Mexico but to Canada as well.

Fulton believes trade issues are likely to trump any concerns that he would have over slaughter capacity.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork