Hogs and pigs report shows industry restraint: analysts
U.S. quarterly inventory of all hogs and pigs on June 1, 2012 was 65.8 million head, up 1 percent from June 1, 2011, and up 1 percent from March 1, 2012.
Breeding inventory, at 5.86 million head, was up 1 percent from last year and up 1 percent from the previous quarter. Market hog inventory, at 60.0 million head, was up 1 percent from last year and up 1 percent from last quarter.
The March-May 2012 pig crop, at 29.4 million head, was up 1 percent from 2011. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 2.92 million head, up slightly from 2011. The sows farrowed during this quarter represented 50 percent of the breeding herd. The average pigs saved per litter was a record high 10.09 for the March-May period, compared to 10.03 last year. Pigs saved per litter by size of operation ranged from 7.5 for operations with 1-99 hogs and pigs to 10.2 for operations with more than 5,000 hogs and pigs.
U.S. hog producers intend to have 2.90 million sows farrow during the June-August 2012 quarter, down 1 percent from the actual farrowings during the same period in 2011, and down 1 percent from 2010.
Intended farrowings for September-November 2012, at 2.89 million sows, are down 1 percent from 2011, but up slightly from 2010.
Generally the numbers came in slightly lower than analysts had expected, although the number of hogs kept for breeding was slightly higher than expected, and “we can breathe a sigh of relief that it’s not a larger number; trade is fearful of a large expansion,” said Joe Kerns, analyst with the International Agribusiness Group in Ames, Iowa. He was speaking on a media conference call hosted Friday afternoon by the National Pork Board and the Pork Checkoff.
Chris Hurt, professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University, echoed that sentiment, noting that “what I and others have tried to talk about was the tightness of the feed supplies. We need to get a good North American crop not to be hanging on the cliff.”
Ongoing hot, dry weather does not bode well for abundant supplies of corn and soybean meal for hogs. “That’s a game-changer in the economics of the hog business,” Hurt said. “We may have to cut this herd somewhat; it all depends on what the weather’s like in the next 60 days.”
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!