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

Friday’s USDA quarterly Hogs and Pigs report is expected to indicate modest industry expansion with small increases over last year in the total U.S. hog herd and the number of sows kept for breeding purposes. 

Trade estimates of the total June 1 hog herd average 100.8% of a year earlier in a  range from 100.1%-102.1%, while estimates of the breeding herd average 100.4% in a range from 99.7%-101.6% and estimates of the market hog inventory average 100.8% in a range from 100.1%-102.1%. 

The March-May pig crop is seen running 100.6% of a year earlier on average, with trade estimates range from 99.6-101.0%.  Expectations for March-May farrowings average 99.7% in a range from 99.5%-100.0%, compared to the March-May farrowing intentions at 99.5% reported by USDA in March. 

Breeding efficiency is seen rising modestly, with trade estimates of the number of pigs per litter averaging 100.9% of a year earlier in a range from 100.1-101.4%. 

While corn prices rose this spring, boosting feed costs, higher hog prices spurred by good pork demand boosted returns for producers during the March-May quarter, compared with December-February, possibly generating some herd expansion.