Markets Reflecting PED Uncertainty, Pork Council Director SaysFri, 21 Mar 2014 15:44:54 CDT
The PED virus continues to wreak havoc on farms across the United States with no end yet in sight. The disease causes diarrhea in baby pigs and is fatal. So far, efforts to halt its spread have proven largely ineffective.
Roy Lee Lindsey, executive director of the Oklahoma Pork Council said the effects of the actual virus and worries about its spread are reflected in the futures markets. (He spoke with Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays at the Oklahoma Youth Expo. You can hear their conversation by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.)
“We’re seeing a tremendous impact on markets now from PED… we’re seeing a significant impact. Live hogs yesterday were in the nineties. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen live hogs in the nineties in my lifetime. And if you look at the June futures, we’re at $133, $134. We’re way out past record highs here. The best estimates right now are that we are short some five million market hogs out of about 105, 106 million. So, were off about four percent. That’s a pretty significant change.”
Lindsey said it is not yet clear if the hogs are being bought now at $90 for future use anticipating that we will indeed see live hog prices much higher than that this summer. He said he doesn’t think the prices will stay as high as they currently are into June, but next week’s report on pig numbers will help nail down some actual figures.
The disease has not been as widespread in Oklahoma as it has been in other states, but, Lindsey said, it is taking its toll.
“We had a lot of cases early on. Most of those cases were centered in the Panhandle. To our knowledge, they’ve kind of stayed out in that general area. We’ve really not worked our way back into the body of the state. I can’t tell you that that’s not going to happen, but I can tell you that producers here in the body of the state are doing everything that they can to not get it. The hope is we’ll get to a vaccine before it breaks on their farm.”
It doesn’t look like a vaccine is coming anytime soon, Lindsey said, and hog producers are doing everything they can to protect the biosecurity of their individual farms.
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