Profitability? Pork exports? What’s ahead for holiday demand?

November 20, 2020


It's the season for that time-honored tradition of getting out the turkey fryer. Although this year travel restrictions will likely reduce the group size at the table, Provimi senior market analyst David Bauer encourages you all to take time to prepare your own personal feast of celebration and maybe even to consider pork as an option. He’s just not sure how exactly that loin will cook up in the fryer.

The accumulated slaughter over the past five weeks has averaged 2.688 million head, according to Bauer. Over that period, the average weekday kill has been 485,760 head. The first four days this week averaged 491,500 head, but the three-week average for Friday has been just over 483,000 head. So, let's say we're able to reach 480,000 head Friday and right now Saturday is estimated at 279,000 head that would produce a 2.75 million head kill for the week. Unless USDA comes back with adjustments on Monday due to plant or labor issues, Bauer believes that should stick. Weights were up 1.5 lb. last week, as year-to-date slaughter remains 1% over last year with pork production 1.8% over last year. Bauer believes non-holiday weeks into yearend could remain either side of 2.7 million head per week, again unless there are issues around plant or plant labor due to COVID concerns. New pork sales fell 22% from last week.

China has slowed down on new purchases and Bauer thinks we need to get used to that. Although year-to-date accumulated shipments and outstanding sales are currently 118% of last year, he said we won't see those kinds of numbers in 2021 as herd growth in China and a gradual increase in pork production is anticipated.

What’s ahead for profitability? Bauer explains.

These are uncertain times and it will pay dividends to be well-prepared. If you have questions on this week’s recap or want to discuss something not covered, feel free to ASK DAVE at [email protected]. Plan today for tomorrow’s success.

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