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Export jump fuels bullish hog outlook

Jeff Caldwell 03/12/2012 @ 8:21am Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

There are 2 signs lately that there's reason for pork producers to be bullish on their marketplace.

On Monday, the U.S. Meat Export Federation released a report showing U.S. pork exports were up sharply in the month of January. Overall, exports were 43% higher than they were a year ago, with Mexico, China and Japan as the top 3 buyers of U.S. pork. And, according to a Dow Jones Newswires report, it's got this year already "in position to set another record," with USDA expecting the increase to continue through at least the next few months.

What's that doing to prices at home? Cash hog bids are expected to hover around steady levels, with some firming expected as spring nears. On top of that, there's some potential upward momentum with packer supplies already tight and expected to tighten further.

"The majority of pork processors are expected to bid steady prices for hogs to begin the week but some firmer quotes are predicted as well from plants that need additional supplies for arrival midweek or later," according to a Dow Jones Newswires report. "Some livestock dealers predict that supplies of slaughter-ready animals could tighten further and cause packers to bid more aggressively to get the hogs needed to maintain their operating schedules."

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