Market News & Headlines >> Hog Herd Expansion Seen Continuing

USDA’s quarterly Hogs and Pigs report is expected to show that U.S. producers continued to expand their herds during the March-May quarter, driven by low corn prices, profitable margins and planned increases in U.S. slaughter capacity. 

Trade estimates of the total U.S. hog herd as of June 1 average 103.3% of a year earlier in a range from 103.0-104.0%, according to a Reuters News Service survey of seven analysts. At the average of trade estimates, the U.S. hog herd would be a record large 71.597 million head.

 Pre-report expectations for the supply of hogs kept for breeding purposes average 101.5% of a year earlier in a range from 101.1%-102.0%, while estimates of the inventory of hogs kept for marketing purposes average 103.5% in a range from 103.1%-104.0%. At the average of trade estimates, the market hog inventory would total 65.490 million head, up 2.19 million head from a year earlier. 

On average, the supply of market hogs weighing over 180 pounds is expected to be 103.9% of a year earlier, with the supply of 120-179 pound market hogs at 103.5%; the supply of 50-119 pound hogs at 103.3% and the supply of hogs weighing less than 50 pounds also at 103.3%. 

Expectations for the March-May pig crop average 103.0% of a year earlier in a range from 102.5%-104.0%.  March-May farrowings estimates average 101.7% of a year earlier while estimates of the number of pigs per litter average 101.3%. 

On average, June-August farrowing intentions are expected to come in at 100.6% of a year earlier, with September-November intentions seen running 100.3%.