Hog and Pork Prices Break Records

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COLUMBIA - Hog prices closed up 7 percent this week and are up 34 percent from a year ago.

A virus known as Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea, or PED, has killed 4 million to 5 million pigs or about 4 percent of the pig market and is driving prices up.

June future prices for hogs are up to $127.85 per hundredweight, which is a record high, and experts say it may keep going up.

"The future market for live hogs is trading far above record levels and high above anything we had prior to this year," Ron Plain, a professor of agricultural economic at the University of Missouri said. "The summer contracts are as much $15 per hundredweight above the old records."

So far, the virus has hit 27 states including Missouri where an estimated 60 farms have reported the virus. The full impact of PED won't be known for a few more months because hogs take about six months to be ready for slaughter.

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