Largest June 1 Hog Herd Ever: USDA

The US inventory of all hogs and pigs on June 1 was 75.520 million head, said the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service in its Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report Thursday.  This was the highest June 1 inventory since estimates began in 1964.

The report could be viewed as bearish to hog futures, which have been in a downtrend since mid-April, a market analyst said.  It also could pressure cattle markets since the coming extra pork production implied by the larger herd size could weigh on beef prices.




The June 1 inventory of all hogs and pigs, at 75.520 million head, was up 494,000, or 0.66%, from the March 1 inventory of 75.026 million and up 2.654 million, or 3.64%, from the 72.866 million head of a year earlier.

And if growth in the total herd weren’t enough, the herd is growing in all major points, the NASS data revealed.

The breeding herd was pegged at 6.410 million head, up 61,000, or 0.96%, from 6.349 million in the March report and up 90,000, or 1.42%, from 6.320 million head a year earlier.

The market hog portion of the total herd totaled 69.111 million head, up 433,000, or 0.63%, from 68.678 million in the March report and up 2.565 million, or 3.85%, from 66.546 million a year earlier.

Livestock Marketing Information Center graphs of the NASS hog inventory report data show the June 1 herd growing every year from a 2014 low, making this total herd the fifth straight June 1 inventory increase.




One market analyst wrote in a commentary that the report “shows there will be a log of hogs for July and August, and until the US can sell the extra pork, it will be hard for hogs to rally.”

The number of hogs weighing 180 pounds or more on June 1 came to 13.059 million head, up 131,000, or 1.01%, from 12.925 million on March 1 and up 909,000, or 7.48%, from the 12.147 million a year ago.

Market hogs weighing 120 through 179 pounds totaled 14.427 million head, down 631,000, or 4.19%, from 15.058 million in March but up 439,000, or 3.14%, from 13.988 million a year earlier.

The number of market hogs weighing 50 through 119 pounds was pegged at 19.606 million head, up 567,000, or 2.98%, from 19.039 million in the March report and up 523,000, or 2.74%, from 19.083 million a year earlier.

The babies, those weighing less than 50 pounds came to 22.019 million head, up 363,000, or 1.68%, from 21.656 million in March and up 692,000, or 3.24%, from 21.327 million on June 1, 2018.

Just as the total June 1 herd size has grown in each of the last five years, so too has the market herd size.  This is the largest market herd ever.




Cash cattle trading was reported last week at $110 per cwt on a live basis in the Plains down $2 to $4 from last week, and at $182 to $183 on a dressed basis, down $2 to $3.

The USDA choice cutout Thursday was down $0.67 per cwt at $219.03, while select was down $1.66 at $196.90.  The choice/select spread widened to $22.13 from $21.14 with 103 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

No contract delivery notices were served for the Jun live cattle futures contract Thursday.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Wednesday was $131.87 per cwt, up $0.36 from the previous day.  This compares with Thursday’s Aug contract settlement of $135.80, down $0.02.