Pork prices at risk as virus spreads

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.

Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv), the disease that kills young piglets, is showing no signs of abating. The most recent data from National Animal Health Lab shows the number of new cases is still increasing. The potential for a smaller hog herd in 2014 has injected some risk premium into prices.

While PEDv lingers, the Easter ham market is quickly approaching. Hams that weigh 20-23 pounds are already running 30 percent above year-ago levels, at $0.95 per pound (USDA)

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