​​​​​​Analysts Surprised By Year-over-Year Breeding Herd Size

USDA released the Q4 Hogs and Pigs Report on Dec. 23. NPB invited 3 economists to provide narrative and answer producer questions related to the report.

“Breeding herd size and expected farrowings offer some direction for supply later in 2023. The modest increase from 2021 suggests gilt retention during the Sept-Nov quarter improved compared to the same period last year.”
Altin Kalo | Steiner Consulting Group

“Assuming the breeding herd in the Dec. report is correct at 100.5% of its year-ago level and that kind of growth persists this year, 4th quarter slaughter could be as much as 3% higher than 2022. I believe breakeven costs for average producers will remain in the mid-$90s/cwt. carcass for at least the first 3 quarters of 2023.”
Dr. Steve Meyer | Partners for Production Agriculture (now part of EverAg)

This report shows U.S. inventory of all hogs and pigs as of Dec. 1. Key highlights include:

  • All hogs and pigs inventory was 73.1 million head – down 2% from last year, and down 1% from Sept 2022
  • Breeding inventory was at 6.15 million head – up slightly from the previous quarter and last year
  • Market hog inventory was 67.0 million head – down 2% from last year and down 1% from last quarter
  • Sept-Nov 2022 pig crop was at 33.7 million head – down 1% from last year
  • Sows farrowing during this period totaled 3.00 million head – down 1% from last year, representing 49% of the breeding herd

Get Full Report Here