Hogs: Finally, chicken breast prices have shifted to above last year levels. Sharp production declines and active featuring in the grocery store are having an impact. It is not much, but is noticeable. Better pricing in the “premium” chicken product is one key to watch for 2012 hog prices…Rich Nelson
Cattle: It is interesting that both sides of the livestock complex have been rocked by export uncertainty in the past two months. On the hog side, we had big sales to China but did not know exactly how much it has totaled. Now on the cattle end, we have word that Japan is officially reviewing their import policy for US and Canadian product. The problem we have is the trade is ready to trade this news in the “right now” timeframe. Realistically, it could take their government a few weeks to finish the review. After that, their Congress must vote on the measure. It may be as late as March before any “additionally” beef from this review is shipped out. On the other hand, it could happen by early January. For now, we must assume the best and allow packers to buy at their aggressive pace...Rich Nelson
Rich Nelson is Director of Research at Allendale, Inc. in McHenry, IL. Allendale is registered with the CFTC and NFA and is a member of the NIBA. www.allendale-inc.com.