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U.S. Hog Inventory Drops 3 Percent

It appears that a long streak of uneventful Hogs and Pigs reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture came to screeching halt with the late March 2010 report.

“Everyone missed the estimates this time, as the numbers came in a lot tighter than expected,” says Len Steiner, president of Steiner Consulting Group in Manchester, N.H., who participated in the Pork Checkoff’s news media conference call following USDA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report. “This report is certainly not boring, and it could lead to some real fireworks in the hog market this summer.”

“I think the sow culling is coming to an end, based on indications in this report and the potential for profitability, especially when you look at summer futures,” says Steiner, who used a lean hog carcass basis to predict second-quarter hog prices at $78, third-quarter prices at $79, fourth-quarter prices at $69, and first-quarter 2011 prices at $71.


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