The quarterly hogs and pigs report released by USDA Thursday showed record inventory numbers in the United States.
USDA livestock analyst Shayle Shagam says total hog supplies increased five percent from year-ago levels. This latest news carried a bearish tone into nearby contracts Friday, while the expectation of herd size contraction is expected to carry long-term bullishness into 2021.
“The inventory of all hogs and pigs on June 1st was 79.6 million head, which is up five percent from a year ago,” Shagam said. “The number kept for breeding was 6.3 million head, one percent below a year ago. The number of hogs available for marketing was 73.3 million head, six percent above a year ago.”
“Producers farrowed just under 3.2 million head in March/May, which was about one percent above a year ago,” he added. “They indicated intentions to farrow about 4.6 percent fewer hogs in June/August, and about 5.4 percent fewer hogs in September/November.”
Shagam says the sows farrowed during this quarter represented 50 percent of the breeding herd.
“When we take that one percent increase in sows farrowed during March/May and factor in the pigs per litter in March/May – which was about one tenth of a percent above a year ago – we get a pig crop for the March/May quarter of just over 34.9 million head,” Shagam said. “That was 1.4 percent above a year ago.”
Hog producers were closely watching for the quarterly hogs and pigs report Thursday afternoon, which provided a first glance into the U.S. herds since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Iowa State University associate professor Lee Schulz told Ag reporters Thursday that the strength of demand will dictate prices for producers, as well as how fast hogs can be pulled through the system.
USDA’s quarterly hogs and pigs report can be found here.