Will Grilling Season Fire Up Hog Prices?

4/27/18 Protein Markets
A cool start to grilling season gives hope that warmer temperatures will also fire up meat demand. ( Farm Journal )

Typically, cattle prices make their highs in April and hogs make their highs in June and July—but not this year. More calves in the pipeline has shifted this year’s cattle cycle, although demand has been keeping pace. Hogs, already maxing out expansion plans, were hit with Chinese tariffs earlier this spring.

A late start to spring, also means grilling season has started slow, but hopes remain that once grills fire up, so will the demand for more meat.

“We are in a time window where you expect hogs will gain on cattle near term,” says Bob Utterback, Utterback Marketing, in an interview with AgDay host Clinton Griffiths.

“I think hogs took too big a hit here in this last slide with the export tariff debate on China pork supplies,” he says. “The hog market has the best short-term bounce [opportunity].”

“You’ve got to price your fall inventory no later than first of June,” he adds. “it’s not going to be an attractive price, but you’re going to do it, because if we don’t have the weather scare [then] cheap corn walks hogs off the farm.”