In this weekly Commodities Watch column, John T. Barone, president and commodities analyst for Market Vision Inc., offers a snapshot of the state of commodities for restaurants.
The USDA reported quarterly hog inventories at 67.5 million head, up slightly from a year ago and 3 percent above the previous quarterly report. But farrowing intentions were less than expected and point to herd contraction for 2013. Producers say they will farrow 2.85 million sows for September to November 2012, down 3 percent from 2011; and 2.82 million for December 2012 to February 2013, down 1 percent from a year ago. Pork output will still be 1.5 percent above year ago in the fourth quarter before turning negative in early 2013. Last week’s “bacon shortage” news scare was related to the forthcoming ban on gestation stalls in Europe and is not expected to affect U.S. pork supplies. Corn stocks were reported at 988 million bushels, which was 12.4 percent lower than a year ago and 16.3 percent below the USDA’s September forecast released just two weeks ago. Corn prices, which had dropped to $7.16 on Thursday, jumped to $7.56 post-report on Friday.
Contact John T. Barone at email@example.com.