Pork Market Grinds Lower

Hog prices continued their collapse lower this week, with the most-active December hog contract falling under 49 cents per pound, the lowest price since 2009.

Additionally, market watchers are worried about hog weights; the average porker now weighs over 280 pounds, the highest in three months. In an effort to stave off selling their hogs at low prices, producers are holding onto their animals and feeding them cheap corn. In the aggregate, this tendency only serves to add more to the meat supply, which will likely keep prices under pressure.

To spark a rally, the hog market will need increased demand, either from U.S. consumers stocking up on cheap pork or foreign buyers looking to the U.S. for meat. So far, demand has been weak, leaving the hog market stuck in the mud.