Market News & Headlines >> Moderate Hog Herd Expansion Expected

USDA is expected to report continued moderate expansion of the U.S. hog herd when it releases its quarterly Hogs and Pigs report on Friday afternoon. 

Profitable conditions for most hog producers through spring and early summer along with large supplies of low-priced corn are thought to have fueled further herd expansion during the June-August quarter. 

Trade estimates of the total U.S. hog herd as of Sept. 1 average 101.2% of a year earlier in a range from 100.6%-102.3%, according to a survey of 10 livestock analysts by Reuters News Service. At the average of trade estimates, the U.S. hog herd would total 70.020 million head, up from 69.185 million a year earlier. 

Pre-report expectations for the Sept. 1 breeding herd average 100.5% of a year earlier in a range from 99.0%-101.1%. The average of trade estimates is for a breeding herd of 6.015 million head, up from 5.986 million a year earlier. Pre-report estimates of the market hog inventory average 101.3% of a year earlier in a range from 100.6-102.4%. At 101.3% of a year earlier, the market hog inventory would total 64.001 million head, up from 63.200 million a year earlier. 

Trade estimates of the June-August pig crop average 99.8% of a year earlier, with estimates of June-August farrowings averaging 98.8%. Pre-report forecasts of the number of pigs per litter average 101.3% of a year earlier, which would be 10.52 pigs. 

Expectations for September-November farrowing intentions average 99.6% of a year earlier, while the trade consensus puts December-February intentions at 100.1%.