Steve Meyer

Paragon Economics Inc.

Steve Meyer, president of Paragon Economics, founded in 2002 to provide expert economic analysis of agricultural markets and business decisions. He brings a wealth of experience in the livestock industry, having served as director of economics for the National Pork Producers Council (1993-2001), and held the same position for the National Pork Board from 2001 to October 2002. In that capacity, Steve provided economic counsel to producers and Pork Board staff and coordinated staff and consultants’ activities regarding meat industry production, price forecasts and the economic impact of pork production and processing. In addition, he administered NPPC programs dealing with marketing and pricing systems, structure, pork industry coordination and competitiveness. Previously, Steve served as a swine business specialist with Moorman Manufacturing Co., a sales representative with Dow Chemical and sales manager for an animal health and agricultural chemical distributor. In addition, he spent three years as an assistant professor in the agriculture economics department at the University of Missouri.

Number of Economic Factors Play into ’15 Hog Markets
Whether the demand strength of 2013 and 2014 can be extended through next year is a major question regarding the outlook for pork markets. Improving macro-economic conditions, lower gasoline prices and extremely high beef prices all support continued strong demand. Lower chicken prices and a stronger U.S. dollar will be negative for demand. The balance of those issues will be critical to hog and pork market performance.
Lowest October Cold Storage Since 1996
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s November Cold Storage report indicated continued tight freezer supplies for all meat and poultry. The Oct. 31 inventory of 1.949 billion pounds of beef, pork, chicken and turkey in U.S. freezers was the lowest October total since 1996, and the first such figure under 2 billion pounds since 2001.
Much Hangs in the Balance of Hog Markets
The next few weeks will be critical for next summer’s supply situation. The number of total PEDV case accessions has been rising and I heard anecdotal reports last week of a growing number of breaks in nursery and finishing sites.
Pork, Beef Big Winners in Meat Demand
Last week’s monthly exports completed the data needed to compute per capita consumption for September. The export data were not terribly positive but their implications for consumption and, when combined with retail prices, pork demand were good indeed.
Lack of PEDV-Positive Sow Farms Means More Pigs on the Way
How bad will porcine epidemic diarrhea virus be this winter? That remains the most pressing question about hog and pork markets in 2015 though the cost side of the equation has already poised us for profits – and good ones relative to any year in history except for 2014.
Opportunity Remains for Pork to Capture Market Share
The tight beef supply situation will not change soon. Improved pasture conditions and record profits are driving beef cow herd expansion that will keep cows and heifers at home. Burgers and steaks are going to remain pricey. The opportunity for pork to capture market share remains.
‘Usual Suspects’ Play Role in Fall Hog Prices
To see Lean Hogs futures prices fall in October is not an unusual occurrence. To see them fall $5.75 in two days without any real critical market development is another thing entirely. I’m not real sure exactly what happened but there are a few “usual suspects” that likely played a role.
Don't Put All Your 'Eggs' in One Basket
The old poultry-based admonition “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” works for three reasons. The first is the well-known fragility of eggs. Second is the minimal protection afforded by a basket and third, of course, is the notorious undependability of basket carriers. It is not hard to see corollaries of all three in today’s hog and pork markets.
‘Bearish’ Report Results in Minor Changes in Forecasts, Lean Hog Futures
The USDA Hogs and Pigs Report, that almost everyone thought was bearish, resulted in only minor changes in analysts’ forecasts. It also had little negative impact on Lean Hogs futures as well. After small losses on Sept. 29, the trend has been higher across the board, with strength the greatest for the summer contracts.
Report Indicates Swine Industry has Taken Advantage of PEDV Impact
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Hogs and Pigs report, released on Friday, indicates that the U.S. industry has moved quickly to take advantage of record profits and backfill productivity losses caused by porcine epidemic diarrhea virus.
Meat Competition Shouldn’t Damage Pork Demand
Pork and hog prices have been helped along this year by the supply situations of our major competitors. Part of that impact will endure but part of it is showing signs of waning. Let’s look at the other species this week. The beef sector is beginning to respond to record-high prices and profits. But the nature of this beast means the response will be slow and take seemingly forever to manifest itself in any significant increases in supplies.
USDA Raises Corn Crop Forecast
We old-timers could call this a “Timex” crop so far: Takes a licking, but keeps on ticking. Such was the news from the U.S. Department of Agriculture last week. That name has been supported as well by reports that last week’s frost damage was not severe. It looks as though the record crop is nearly in the bin, or at least piled outside on the ground awaiting transportation.
Pork Exports Soften; Domestic Strong
July exports data, released on Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service, indicated some softening of the U.S. pork industry’s foreign business but also pointed to continued strong domestic consumer-level pork demand.
Hog Market Goes Higher Than Justified by Supply
Hog market has fallen so much “Because it went way too high in the first place.” The hog market had gone higher than was justified by actual.
U.S. Appears to Have Lost WTO MCOOL Battle
The United States has apparently lost with the World Trade Organization on mandatory country-of-origin labeling. That is the word that has appeared in a number of published accounts the past few days. I have been able to corroborate those reports with my own sources.
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