Market News & Headlines >> U.S Hog Herd Seen Down Slightly From Last Year

Friday afternoon’s quarterly USDA Hogs and Pigs report is expected to peg the Dec. 1 U.S. hog herd slightly below a year earlier and indicate that liquidation of the sow herd continues amid poor returns for producers and surging breeding efficiency.

Trade estimates of all hogs and pigs as of Dec. 1 average 99.5% of a year earlier in a range from 98.8%-100.4%, according to a Bloomberg News survey of six analysts, while estimates of the breeding herd average 98.8% of a year earlier in a range from 98.3%-99.5% and estimates of the market hog inventory average 99.5% in a range from 98.7%-100.6%.

Pre-report expectations for the September-November pig crop average 98.3% of a year earlier in a range from 97.6%-98.9%. September-November farrowings estimates average 95.2% in a range from 94.8%-95.7%, while estimates of the number of pigs per litter average 103.3% of a year earlier in a range from 102.5%-104.0%.

Producers are expected to continue deceasing farrowings amid increased breeding efficiency. Trade estimates of December-February farrowing intentions average 97.9% of a year earlier in a range from 95.9%-98.7%. Pre-report estimates of March-May farrowing intentions average 98.9% in a range from 96.5%-98.3%.

Estimates of the Dec. 1 supply of market hogs weighing 180 pounds or more average 100.9% of a year earlier, while the supply of 120-179 pound market hogs is seen at 100.2%. Estimates of the number of market hogs weighing 50-119 pounds average 99.2% of a year earlier, with estimates of the supply of pigs weighing less than 50 pounds average 98.8%.