Hogs Hit Bottom

Hogs Hit Bottom

H1N1 is causing concern despite fact that hogs don't spread virus.

U.S. hog prices continued to fall on Thursday amid investors' worries about potential problems with the H1N1 virus in hogs even though the flu is not spread by hogs or pork. Also contributing to the downturn is talk that producers have been slow to reduce their herds despite nearly two years of losses. Thursday's pork prices were the lowest in nearly two years.

 

Dennis Smith, a livestock broker at Archer Financial, says the expectations are that there will be a glut of pork and that demand is not going to improve in the next couple of months because of the flu situation. James Burns, a hog trader at the CME, says eventually producers are going to be forced into liquidation. He says there are too many hogs out there.

 

University of Missouri agricultural economist Ron Plain believes there is a potential problem coming. Plain says there is a fair amount of concern that the flu will be back in the news a lot. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano adds the flu will flare up after schools open in the fall and there will not be enough vaccine early in the flu season. Still there is no connection between the H1N1 virus and hogs.

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