US Hog Industry Shrinks: USDA

The US inventory of all hogs and pigs on March 1, with numbers of all major categories lower than a year ago and the previous quarter, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service in its Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report.

The breeding herd was down about 3% from last year and about 1% from the previous quarter, and the market hog inventory was off about 2% from last year and about 3% from last quarter.




The March 1 total inventory of US hogs was 74.773 million head, down 1.406 million, or 1.85%, from 76.179 million a year earlier and down 2.539 million, or 3.28%, from 77.312 million on Dec. 1.

Of that, there were 6.215 million hogs in the breeding herd on March 1, down 160,000, or 2.51%, from 6.375 million a year earlier and down 61,000, or 0.97%, from 6.276 million in the previous quarter.

Hogs and pigs in the market hog category totaled 68.558 million head, down 1.246 million, or 1.78%, from 69.804 million a year earlier and down 2.478 million, or 3.49%, from 71.036 million in the previous quarter.




Market hogs weighing 180 pounds or more on March 1 totaled 13.446 million head, down 347,000, or 2.52%, from 13.793 million a year earlier and down 244,000, or 1.78%, from 13.690 million in the previous quarter.

Market-bound hogs weighing 120 through 179 pounds numbered 14.705 million head, down 381,000, or 2.53%, from 15.086 million a year earlier and down 641000, or 4.18%, from 15.346 million three months earlier.

The number of pigs on feed weighing 50 to 119 pounds came to 19.118 million head, down 235,000. Or 1.21%, from 19.353 million on March 1, 2020, and down 1.142 million, or 5.64%, from 20.260 million on Dec. 1.

Pigs weighing less than 50 pounds were counted at 21.288 million head, down 283,000, or 1.31%, from 21.571 million a year earlier and down 451,000, or 2.07%, from 21.739 million a quarter earlier.




The number of sows that farrowed in the December-through-February quarter came to 3.041 million head, down 27,000, or 0.88%, from 3.068 million a year earlier and down 123,000, or 3.89%, from 3.164 million in the September-through-November quarter.

Those sows had an average of 10.94 pigs per litter in the latest quarter, down 0.06 pig, or 0.55%, from 11.00 million a year earlier and down 0.11 pig, or 1.00%, from 11.05 in the previous quarter.

Those farrowings produced 33.270 million pigs, down 475 million, or 1.41%, from 33.745 million a year ago and down 1.694 million, or 4.84%, from 34.964 million in the previous quarter.




Fed cattle trading last week was at $115 to $116 per cwt on a live basis, up $1 from the previous week.  Dressed-basis trading was at $184 to $185 per cwt, up $3 to $4.

The USDA choice cutout Monday was up $1.87 per cwt at $239.53, while select was up $4.73 at $232.50.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $7.03 from $9.89 with 66 loads of fabricated product and 29 loads of trimmings and grinds sold into the spot market.

The USDA reported Monday that basis bids for corn from livestock feeding operations in the Southern Plains were unchanged at $1.25 to $1.27 a bushel over the May CBOT futures contract, which settled at $5.46 3/4 a bushel, down $0.05 3/4.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Friday was $138.85 per cwt, up $2.10.  This compares with Monday’s Apr contract settlement of $147.07 per cwt, up $1.95.