Market News & Headlines >> U.S. Hog Herd Seen Up Moderately

USDA is expected to estimate that the Dec. 1 U.S. hog herd was up a bit less than 2.0% from a year earlier and report modest expansion of the breeding herd when it releases its quarterly All Hogs and Pigs report on Wednesday afternoon.

Trade estimates of the total Dec. 1 hog herd average 1.83% above a year earlier in a range from 0.70%-4.00% above, according to a survey of seven livestock analysts by Bloomberg News. Estimates of the Dec. 1 market hog inventory average 1.97% above a year earlier in a range from 0.70%-5.0% above. Six of the seven estimates for both the total hog herd and the marketing inventory were between 0.70%-1.90% higher than a year earlier.

Pre-report estimates of the supply of hogs kept for breeding purposes averaged 1.1% of a year earlier in a range from 0.30%-2.1%, while estimates of September-November farrowings average 1.79% below a year earlier and the September-November pig crop is on average expected to be 0.33% larger than in 2014 in a range from 1.2% smaller to 6% larger.

Improved breeding herd efficiency is seen offsetting lower farrowings, as estimates of the number of pigs per litter average 1.11% above a year earlier. Five of the seven analysts surveyed still estimated the pig crop to be smaller than a year earlier.

On average, the trade sees hog producers’ December-February farrowing intentions coming in 0.14% below a year earlier, with March May farrowing intentions seen up 1.11% from a year earlier.