Market News & Headlines >> USDA Expected to Peg Hog Herd Below Last Year
USDA is expected to peg the total June 1 U.S. hog herd slightly below a year earlier and confirm modest liquidation of the breeding herd when it releases its latest quarterly Hogs and Pigs report on Thursday afternoon.
Indications are that producers have begun liquidating sow herds again in the face of several months of negative operating margins and looming impacts of California Proposition 12.
Trade estimates of the June 1 U.S. hog herd avg. 99.4% of a year earlier in a range from 98.7-99.9% of a year earlier, with estimates of the June 1 market hog inventory averaging 99.4% in a range from 98.8%-99.9% of a year earlier. Estimates of the breeding herd avg. 99.3% of a year earlier in a range from 98.4%-100.0%.
Pre-report estimates of the March-May pig crop average 99.2% of a year earlier in a range from 98.8%-99.6%, with March-May farrowings estimates averaging 98.7% of a year earlier in a range from 97.7%-99.4% of a year earlier. Estimates of the number of pigs per litter average 100.5%.
USDA is expected to provide evidence that producers intend to cut back production further. Pre-report estimates of June-August farrowing intentions average 97.4% of a year earlier, while estimates of September-November farrowing intentions average 97.2% of a year earlier.
Estimates of the June 1 supply of market hogs weighing 180 pounds or more average 99.2% of a year earlier, with estimates of the supply of 120-179 pound hogs averaging also averaging 99.7% while estimates of the supply of market hogs weighing 50-119 pounds average 99.3% and estimates of the supply of hogs weighing less than 50 pounds average 99.2%.
USDA is likely to revise inventory numbers for previous quarters. Larger-than-expected hog slaughter so far this year suggests USDA underestimated the market hog inventory in previous reports.