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Hogs and Pigs Inventory Down Two Percent

USDA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report revealed inventory on March first was 74.8 million head, down two percent from a year ago. The report showed breeding inventory at 6.21 million head, down three percent from last year and down one percent from the previous quarter. Market hog inventory was 68.6 million head, down two percent from 2020 and off three percent from last quarter. Joe Kerns with Partners for Production Agriculture explained during a Pork Checkoff report analysis that all values came in below the entire range of estimates.

“I don’t see this as just a mildly bullish report. This is the report that producers have been looking for quite some time. This marks the first reduction in March over March since 2014. After seven straight years of growth, we finally see a little bit of a pullback here. The market has been feeling this one a little bit. Certainly, the anecdotal quantity of spaces available and the value of weaned pigs that we’ve traded into the marketplace would give you the indication that something wasn’t quite up to par as far what expectations were looking at.”

Daniel Bluntzer of NFC Markets also took part in the Pork Checkoff virtual forum. He called this latest quarterly report a gamechanger.

“Looking back at the last quarterly reports going back to the December report of 2019, we’ve reduced the herds 250,000 sows. We haven’t had that kind of reduction since 2008-2009. We didn’t know how the market was going to react, and we didn’t know how production was going to react over the last year of COVID. On top of that, when we start to get a recovery, we start to get a pretty sharp rise in grain prices. In my estimation, it’s one of those one out of six or eight type of market reports. It’s kind of a shocker and gets the market thinking in a much larger direction.”

Thursday’s report also showed the December 2020-February 2021 pig crop at 33.3 million head, down one percent from last year. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 3.04 million head, down one percent from the previous year. The sows farrowed during this quarter represented 48 percent of the breeding herd. The average pigs saved per litter was 10.94 for the December 2020-February 2021 period, compared to 11.00 last year.

To view the entire USDA Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report, visit nass.usda.gov.