We recently noted the soaring cost of US foodstuffs this quarter (handily outperforming stocks) but without a doubt it is lean hogs that are the best performer - up a stunning 51% in Q1. As Bloomberg reports, the reasons are varied and, fair warning, sometimes disgusting: The same Ukraine story that is helping to keep a lid on equities is fueling a rally in wheat on concerns about Russian crops; the pigs in China are gobbling up U.S. soy, while the hog supply in the U.S. is being hurt by a nasty case of “porcine epidemic diarrhea virus.”
So far in 2014 it’s worth taking note of the leaders to show that while alpha may not grow on trees, it can sometimes grow in the fields:
Lean hogs are up 51 percent this quarter.
Corn is up 16 percent.
Even untradable chicken wings (specifically the USDA Georgia Dock Chicken Ready To Cook Wings Spot Price) are up 8.9 percent.
And of course, the broad US Foodstuff index
Must be the weather? But summing it all up - Q1 has been the quarter of food inflation and financial asset deflation