Hog Inventories Make Sizable Decline To Start Year

The nation’s hog population witnessed a three-percent drop to mark the first quarter of 2022.  USDA’s quarterly Hogs and Pigs report indicates that 72.2 million head of hogs were on hand as of March first, a two-percent decline year-over-year and net drop from December of 1.9 million hogs.  The two-percent drop was spread evenly between hogs kept for breeding, at 6.1 million, and hogs destined for market at 66.1 million.  Traders had expected increases of under one percent.  The fewest declines occurred in pigs weighing under 50 pounds, at just over 20 million head, while the population of hogs over 120 pounds declined four percent from a year ago.  The winter’s pig crop was down slightly from a year ago at 31.75 million, as just over 2.9 million sows farrowed in the past three months.  The pigs per litter rate was steady at 10.95.

Missouri hog populations experienced a slightly larger drop than the national average, down three percent at 3.3 million head.  420,000 hogs are being kept for breeding while 2.88 million are destined for market.  The population drop was entirely among pigs under 50 pounds, as hog populations between 50 and 179 pounds increased by 50,000 head.  The drop was as a result of just 2.3 million pigs being farrowed in the winter, from 215,000 sows.  Missouri pork producers intend to have 455,000 sows farrow over the next six months.