Market News & Headlines >> USDA Report Shows Little Hog Herd Expansion
Friday morning’s quarterly USDA Hogs and Pigs report should be neutral to supportive for hog prices as it pegged the March 1 hog herd in line with trade expectations and showed no expansion of the breeding herd along with smaller spring/summer farrowing intentions. The lack of expansion should be supportive for back-end futures contracts when trading resumes on Monday.
USDA pegged the total U.S. hog herd as of March 1 at 0.4% larger than a year earlier, right on the average of trade estimates, which ranged from 1.0% lower to 1.5% higher, according to a survey of nine analysts by Bloomberg News. In actual numbers, the hog herd came in at 67.644, up from 67.399 million a year earlier.
USDA pegged the number of hogs kept for breeding purposes at 100.0% of a year earlier, compared with pre-report estimates that averaged 0.6% above a year earlier in a range from 0.4% lower to 1.0% higher. In actual numbers, the March 1 breeding herd came in at 5.980 million head, down marginally from 5.982 million a year earlier.
The March 1 market hog inventory came in 0.4% larger than a year earlier matching the average of trade estimates that ranged from 1.0% smaller to 1.6% larger. In actual numbers, the market hog inventory was 61.664 million head, up from 61.418 million a year earlier.
The December-February pig crop came in 0.2% below a year earlier versus trade estimates that averaged 0.1% larger than a year earlier in a range from 1.0% smaller to 1.4% larger.
December-February farrowings came in 0.8% below a year earlier toward the high end of pre-report estimates that averaged 1.5% smaller than a year earlier in a range from 2.0% smaller to 0.1% smaller. December-February pigs per litter came in 0.7% above a year earlier, toward the low end of trade estimates that averaged 1.5% above a year earlier in a range from 1.0% lower to 2.3% higher.
According to USDA, hog producers intend to farrow 0.5% fewer hogs during March-May than a year earlier. June-August farrowing intentions were put 3.5% below a year earlier, which may have been the biggest surprise in the report. On average, March-May farrowing intentions were expected to be 0.3% larger than a year earlier, while June August intentions were expected to be 0.1% larger.