Hogs Go Wild

Hog prices surged this week to five-month highs as fears spread about a potential summer pork shortage. USDA data suggested 2% fewer slaughter-ready animals this summer and also showed that the animals were lighter than last year, resulting in less meat.

Meanwhile, US exports of pork and beef have climbed over the past year, another factor that could limit availability of ribs, roasts, and chops for the summer grilling season.

Friday’s price of 72 cents per pound still makes pork a cheap alternative to beef, but prices could continue rising if supplies tighten further, especially with strong seasonal demand for Easter hams.