Monday, December 12, 2011

A roundup of pig prices and market notes

Pig prices are seasonal; winter piglets are cheaper than summer.  I look at prices every now and then to see what the market is. 

Market in December, 2011: 
Northwestern Washington (Bellingham area), $75-85 (two producers)
Central Washington (Tacoma-Everett), $80-100 (five producers)
Olympic Pennisula and coast (Sequim, montesano) $75-100 (three producers)
Eastern Washington (Wenatchee, Yakima) $40-110 (nine producers)
Eastern Washington (Spokane) $65-100 (four producers)
Southern Washington (Vancouver, portland OR) $60-$75 (four producers)
Southern Washington (tri-cities) $75-$100

Prices this year are generally higher than they've been in the past years.   As with most years, there are some producers that don't want to raise a pig in the winter, and they're selling the pigs cheap; happens every year.  I sell a lot of finished pigs in the spring because there's not much local supply. 

My price for my weaners is $80; this isn't the lowest price, nor is it the highest.  For breeding stock I'll charge a significant premium; what folks are buying is the hand-selection and special care of the pigs. 

Some of the ads talk about show pigs, fair pigs, ffa pigs or 4h pigs.   Most of those ads are from folks who are looking to sell pigs in a few months.  Those ads are also listing the highest prices. 

Right now is about the lowest weaner pig prices of the year.  The highest prices are usually March-May, and my guess this year is that we'll see $125 to $150 a pig average price this season.  There's not as much production locally, mostly because of feed prices.  Most pig farmers that I know of reduced their herds to a bare minimum when the feed prices spiked, and feed prices haven't gone done. 

For those of you raising pigs, remember that people eat pork all year, and Easter hams are popular.  Stay the course, watch your costs, and charge an appropriate amount to make a fair profit. 

For my own operation I'm selling a steady stream of finished pigs and a few piglets, but the majority of my production is being finished for sale in early 2012. 

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