The US swine industry closing out 2020

Prices are drifting down to close out the year and if you look to the futures as a guide for next year, it is boringly normal. This happens when people have no real idea what to expect…

Dennis DiPietre

Most people cannot wait to see 2020 go into the record books across a range of factors and then disappear behind us as fast as possible. The hope is we will find 2021 to be a year of building toward that future everyone hopes for instead of constantly on the defense reacting to the next gut punch offered up in 2020. The truth is, we will be dealing with the cleanup of events which launched in 2020 for the next several years and best to keep nimble as there are several potential surprises lingering out there in the future mist. We will begin to unravel these in January.

It remains difficult to get a good handle on the pork supply situation in the United States, especially what is coming in the supply chain into May 2021. The December Hogs and Pigs report will provide some guidance. However, the “unknown” but substantial level of euthanasia both of finishing animals and weaned pigs in 2020, resulting from packing plant closures due to Covid-19 disease among workers, has rendered the year-over-year balancing of the various sections of the survey difficult to reconcile through no fault of the USDA or its sampling techniques.

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