Record Hog Inventory for June Reported in Latest Hogs and Pigs Report from USDASun, 26 Jun 2016 20:27:27 CDT
The USDA Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report released on Friday afternoon confirmed what a lot of industry analysts were expecting- a larger hog herd. According to USDA, the report showed a record June 1 U.S. hog inventory at 68.4 million head for all hogs and pigs, up 1.9% from the previous year. Of the 68.4 million hogs and pigs, 62.4 million were market hogs (up 2%), while 5.98 million were kept for breeding (up 1%).
University of Missouri professor emeritus Dr. Ron Plain does not expect a long-term impact from this report.
The March-May 2016 pig crop, at 30.3 million head, was up 3% from 2015. This is the largest March-May pig crop since 1971. Sows farrowed during this period totaled 2.90 million head (up 1%), representing 48% of the breeding herd. For the March-May period, the average pigs saved per litter reached another record high at 10.48.
Joseph Kerns, president of Kerns & Associates, says one concern with this quarterly report is the disappearing sows. It is somewhat of a mystery. Kerns says, “Not only did the sows lost in the March report, in particular from the state of Iowa, did not show back up, but we lost 10,000 more! I find that very hard to digest.”
Iowa is the top sow state in the country, as well as the top total hog inventory state- while Oklahoma continues to be a top five breeding animal state, with 470,000 sows reported in Oklahoma as of June first- that's up seven percent from a year ago, but is off 10,000 head compared to the March first report of this year. With many of the baby pigs born in Oklahoma shipped soon after birth to the corn belt to be fed out- the state is the ninth largest total hog inventory state, with 2.15 million head residing in Oklahoma as of June first. That's down four percent from a year ago.
With the large pig crop- the report suggests that reaching record hog slaughter this year can be anticipated, but heightens the distress over packing capacity. Kerns sees real concerns with this report coming in on the high side. He explains that last year in a non-packing constraint environment live hogs traded down to $48 per hundredweight in the December time frame. It gets quite concerning for fourth quarter 2016 and first quarter 2017 as you tack on 2-3% more animals this year without adding more packing capacity.
Steve Meyer, vice president of pork analysis for EMI Analytics, estimates packer capacity is currently at 2.496 million head per week compared to 2.441 million last fall. While four packing plants are currently sited and under construction, only two plants will be processing pork by last quarter of 2017. Presently, Meyer estimates the new packing capacity at the end of 2017 to be 2.615 million head per week.
You can view the complete report released by USDA by clicking here.
You can hear an analysis of the report with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays- featuring comments from both Dr. Plain and Kerns by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
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