Pork Market Sizzles Higher

Hog futures are nearing a one-year high, trading Friday for over 80 cents per pound. Prices are exploding as short-term supplies run low as meatpackers buy hogs ahead of the grilling season and Father’s Day. Upcoming hot weather will also put stress on hogs, which will cause the animals to have trouble gaining weight, further limiting supplies of meat. As a result, hog prices have risen by more than 10% over the last two weeks.

Despite the recent rally, many hog producers are worried that prices could stumble again if trade disputes continue with Mexico, China, and Canada, three major importers of U.S. pork. On Thursday, Mexico, the largest buyer of U.S. pork, announced they would impose a 20% tariff on U.S. pork if President Trump follows through on the threatened tariffs against Mexican steel and aluminum.

While a retaliatory tariff would be devastating for farmers, consumers would likely benefit from this move, as it could lead to a glut of pork in the United States and lower prices at the grocery store for pork chops, hot dogs, and bacon.