CHICAGO -- U.S. meat processors in the cash markets Monday are expected to pay mostly steady prices for market-ready hogs, amid thinner processing margins after a drop in pork prices.
U.S. pork packers are bidding $1.00 higher than Friday's prices to $2.00 lower on a live basis. Top prices at the terminal markets ranged from $92 to $102 per hundredweight on a live basis, after staying flat or rising slightly in the prior sales.
Declining wholesale pork product prices, thinning processing margins, and an anticipated dip in hog futures this week are weighing on some expectations for prices packers may be willing to pay over the course of the day in cash markets.
A federal supply report last week indicated a smaller-than-expected impact on pork production from a widespread swine virus that has killed millions of piglets since first emerging in the U.S. last spring. That supply outlook is expected to weigh on futures Monday.
The number of hogs and pigs on U.S. farms as of March 1 was down 3% from a year ago, according to federal data released Friday afternoon, indicating there could be more supplies headed to slaughter in the months ahead than analysts had expected.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Friday the wholesale pork price, known in the industry as the cutout, rose 37 cents to $130.36 per hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.
The last available Dow Jones Newswires packer margin index for Friday was negative $1.46 per head, compared with negative $4.78 a head on Thursday.
Write to Kelsey Gee at email@example.com
Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 31, 2014 09:26 ET (13:26 GMT)