Combined U.S., Canada livestock numbers lower

The combined U.S. and Canadian cattle, hog, and sheep herds have gotten smaller.

That decline is largely due to producer concerns about profitability and increased export competition.

In a joint report from the USDA and Statistics Canada, the combined hog herd at the end of December 2023 was slightly lower than the year before, with a modest increase in the U.S. canceled out by a 1% decline in Canada. Except for U.S. market hogs and Canada’s pig crop, the major categories were below the previous year’s levels.

The combined cattle, sheep, and lamb inventories at the start of 2024 were 2% lower with all major categories under a year ago.

The USDA’s next round of annual meat production estimates is out Friday.

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