Hog Inventories Hold Steady To Traders’ Surprise

The general consensus of contraction in the hog population was dented Thursday when USDA’s quarterly update showed a slight increase in their numbers.  The Hogs and Pigs report indicated that as of June 1st, 72.4 million hogs and pigs were on hand nationwide, an increase of 80,000 head from a year ago and a net decrease of 615,000 from March.  6.15 million sows were kept for breeding, down 22,000 from last year but up 50,000 from the last report.  Hogs destined for market totaled 66.25 million, up 103,000 from a year ago but down 765,000 from March’s figure.

The spring’s pig crop totaled 32.9 million, up 256,000 from a year ago.  With just 2.95 million sows farrowing, the pigs per litter ratio of 11.36 set an all-time record, surpassing last fall’s rate.  Impact of California’s Proposition 12 may already be showing, as farrowing intentions for the rest of the year are below six million, totaling just under 5.9 million, a loss of four percent.

Missouri’s hog populations shrunk by 50,000 head year over year.  The 3.15 million figure was also 100,000 lower than March’s total, with the drop coming entirely from market hogs at 2.72 million.  However, an extra 5000 sows were kept for breeding at 435,000.  This spring saw 220,000 Missouri sows farrow 2.44 million pigs.  Pig production was up one percent year-over-year, with the pigs saved per litter ratio up to 11.1.  440,000 sows are expected to farrow later this year, down 25,000 from a year ago.