Steve Meyer

Vice President, Pork Analysis,
Express Markets Inc. Analytics

Steve Meyer, vice president of pork analysis for Express Markets Inc. Analytics of Fort Wayne, Ind. Express Markets and EMI Analytics have been involved in price discovery and analysis for the broiler industry since 2003. They added similar capabilities for turkey in 2008 and have recently added market analysis of pork and beef markets to their product offerings in order to meet the broad information and knowledge needs of customers throughout the meat and poultry production, processing and marketing systems. In May of 2015, Meyer sold Paragon Economics to Express Markets Inc. 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.

Lower belly stocks exert positive price influence
Given their price travails of earlier this year, pork bellies have turned into a value hero this summer. Bellies have been the bright spot among wholesale pork cuts this summer as prices have doubled since mid-May, and gained $10 per hundredweight just last week.
MCOOL, VCOOL: both create a hot issue 1
Country-of-origin labeling debate will continue regardless if it's mandatory, volunteer or non-existent.
COOL is about more than a right-to-know; a lot more 1
When Sen. Pat Roberts introduced legislation to repeal mandatory country-of-origin labeling he said it's no longer about MCOOL and whether one believes that consumers have a “right” to know the country of origin for meat and poultry. This is now a trade issue that threatens to disrupt the export of billions of dollars of U.S. goods.
All sizes of family run hog farms important
Farm census shows that 26,654 family farms raising hogs claim farming as their primary occupation and they account for an inventory of 51.829 million hogs. Those farms represent 92% of all of the primary occupation farms with hogs and 83% of the total hog inventory on those primary occupation farms.
Pork exports show month decline; strong over year ago
U.S. pork exports declined from both their March and April levels, but remained strong relative to other recent months and one year ago in May. Total exports of 437.5 million pounds, carcass weight equivalent, were 1.6% higher than one year ago. That follows a year-on-year gain of nearly 11% in April when shipments were swollen by the clearing of loads that were delayed during the West Coast port slowdown.
Cargill-JBS deal changes pork industry landscape 2
Cargill's deal to sell its entire swine and pork business to JBS USA was a well-kept secret, and it remains to be seen how the $1.45 billion deal impacts the industry's landscape.
Hogs and pigs report a mixed bag of inventory numbers
The USDA’s quarterly Hogs and Pigs report's key numbers were a mixed bag with some inventory figures quite close to analysts’ pre-report expectations (which Steve Meyer interprets as information that was “in the market” at the time the report was released) and others differing pretty markedly.
Hog supplies plentiful

There’s not a lot of mystery as to why hog prices are weak:  There are LOTS of hogs out there! What is more the price impacts are pretty much on line with those supply gains.  No one wants to hear that but let’s investigate.

Outlook: Cloudy or a monsoon?

It has been an exciting and sometimes terrifying ride on the pork industry roller coaster the past few years. From the ethanol-fueled cost increases of the late 2000s to 2009’s H2N1 influenza crisis to the first real Midwest drought in 24 years to the heights of record prices in 2014, and now back to losses in the first quarter of 2015, the pork industry has seen just about everything. Or has it? Here are factors to watch for in the coming 18 months.

Improving demand key to higher prices

Given the reaction of Lean Hogs futures over the past two weeks, one would think the recent surge in slaughter was completely unexpected. As of Friday, LH futures had given back about $8 of the $10 rally we had seen since late-March. I don’t think anyone anticipated that sell-off but we have to remember that few expected the rally. I was sort of alone on that one. I do hope producers took advantage of the opportunity it availed.

U.S. pork exports starting to show life
U.S. pork exports showed signs of life in March, and have now roared upward in April.
Who will jump the ractopamine hurdle?
A hot topic at this week’s World Pork Expo will, no doubt, be ractopamine. A number of producers and packers have been looking at the efficiency-enhancing beta-agonist with skeptical minds and eyes recently as China has enforced its ban on product that contains ractopamine.
COOL pork retaliatory impacts depend on tariffs
Now that the WTO has ruled against the U.S. COOL program, Canada and Mexico will now be clear to impose retaliatory tariffs. That amount remains to be seen, but one press report said that figure was $900 million for Canada’s pork and beef sectors, while other estimates are in excess of $1 billion. Impact on the U.S. pork industry depends on the size of the tariffs and how long beef and pork remain on the list. It will also be very different for Canada and Mexico.
Don’t get greedy on hog market top side
If your balance sheet and/or intestinal fortitude are weak, and you have taken no protection on summer hogs, price some of them now. One-fourth to one-third sounds reasonable with the higher side recommended for anyone who just can’t stand risk either financially or psychologically.
Political decisions could impact hog market future
The pork industry will be involved in and closely observing three political situations for the remainder of 2015. All are critical to the industry’s future and all could have market impacts this year and beyond.
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