Rising Hog Numbers Could Add Price Pressure To All Meats

Rising US hog inventories could put pressure on all red meat and poultry prices as the markets seek a place for the extra production.

In the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service Thursday, it was reported that the US inventory of all categories of hogs, pigs, pig crop or sows were up from a year ago.

The number of all hogs and pigs as of Sep. 1 was 73.549 million head, up 1.763 million, or 2.46%, from a revised 71.786 million a year earlier and up 2.119 million, or 2.97%, from a revised 71.430 million on June 1, 2017.

The states with the largest gains in the number of all hogs and pigs were Ohio, to 2.850 million, Illinois, to 5.500 million, and Texas to 1.130 million, all up 10%.  States with declines in numbers were North Carolina, down 1% to 9.200 million, Minnesota, down 2% to 8.200 million, Nebraska, down 4% to 3.450 million, and Utah, down 4% to 670,000.

The breeding inventory, at 6.087 million head, was up 71,000 head, or 1.18%, from 6.016 million last year and up slightly from 6.069 million the previous quarter.

The market hog inventory, at 67.462 million head, was up 1.692 million, or 2.57%, from 65.770 million last year and up 2.101 million, or 3.21%, from 65.361 million last quarter.

Of the market hogs, those weighing less than 50 pounds numbered 21.568 million head, up 353,000, or 1.66%, from 21.215 million a year earlier.  Those weighing 50 to 119 pounds came to 19.626 million head, up 355,000, or 1.84%, from 19.271 million on Sep. 1, 2016.

There were 14.129 million market hogs weighing 120 to 179 pounds, up 529,000, or 3.89%, from 13.600 million a year earlier.  Those weighing 180 pounds or more came to 12.139 million head, a gain of 456,000, or 3.90%, from 11.683 million on Sep. 1, 2016.

The June-through-August pig crop, at 33.048 million head, was up 717,000, or 2.22%, from 32.331 million in 2016, with the number of sows farrowing during the period at 3.103 million head, up 46,000, or 1.50%, from 3.057 million in 2016.  The sows farrowed during the quarter represented 51% of the breeding herd.

The average number of pigs saved per litter in the June-through-August period was a record 10.65, compared with 10.58 pigs last year.  Pigs saved per litter by size of operation ranged from 7.80 for operations with one to 99 hogs and pigs to 10.70 for operations with more than 5,000.

US hog producers intend to have 3.070 million sows farrow during the September-through-November quarter, up 24,000, or 0.79%, from the actual farrowings of 3.046 million in the same period of 2016 and up 141,000, or 4.81%, from 2.929 million in the 2015 quarter.  Intended farrowings for the December-through-February 2018 quarter, at 3.025 million sows, were up 39,000, or 1.31%, from 2017’s 2.986 million and up 98,000, or 3.35%, from 2.927 million in the 2016 quarter.





No cattle sold Wednesday on the Livestock Exchange video auction.

Limited cash trade was reported Thursday at $108 per cwt on a live basis, about steady with the bulk of last week’s action.  No sales were reported in dressed markets, but traded last week at $170 to $172.

The USDA’s choice cutout Thursday was up $1.11 per cwt at $196.41, while select was off $0.80 at $189.11.  The choice/select spread widened to $7.30 from $5.39 with 81 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Wednesday was $152.08 per cwt, down $0.35.  This compares with Thursday’s Sep settlement of $152.77, up $0.37, and the Oct settlement of $152.95, up $0.25.