A new report by Bloomberg says hog futures were the worst investment in commodities last quarter and the past year. That’s because there are too many pigs coming to market, forcing slaughterhouses to add weekend shifts in November and December.
Those increased supplies come at a time of sluggish export demand. China more than doubled U.S. pork purchases in the first half of the year but has now put the brakes on buying. Bloomberg further notes that hog futures also face devaluation of the peso which threatens shipments to Mexico, the destination for 40 percent of U.S. hams. PCI Advisory Services broker Dustin Guy says “we have a black cloud over the market as a whole,” as the slaughter numbers have scared some investment positions away. The Department of Agriculture’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report from last week showed there were 70.9 million hogs and pigs on U.S. farms, up two percent from last September and four percent higher than June of this year.