Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pork prices in retreat

Pork prices that peaked at record highs last month are now in full retreat.

Futures-market prices fell the daily limit this week as the retreat gained momentum.

The price declines since mid-July are the steepest since 2012.

Wholesale pork fell 17 percent since reaching a record $1.3756 a pound on July 18 as consumers shifted to cheaper poultry for grilling, according to David Kruse, the president of Royal, Iowa- based CommStock Investments Inc.

Hog futures in 2014 soared as much as 56 percent to an all- time high in March as the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus killed as many as eight million pigs. 

Prices are down by 29 percent since June 30, the biggest loss among the 22 raw materials tracked by the Bloomberg Commodity Index. 

The declines came as slaughter rates and animal weights increased, while the spread of the disease slowed.

"Consumers have proven to have less interest in pork at record prices," Kruse said.

"Prices have to fall to the point that increases both retailer and consumer interest in buying pork again. We are not there yet,” he said.