U.S. hog inventory slightly higher

The March 1st, 2024 hog inventory was up modestly on the year.

The USDA says the U.S. hog and pig inventory was 74.571 million head, 2% lower than on December 1st, 2023, but 1% higher than March 1st, 2023, a little bit larger than analysts’ expectations.

That year-to-year increase can be tied to a larger pig crop, and a record number of pigs saved per litter for the quarter spanning December 2023 to February 2024, despite a decline in the number of sows farrowed, reflecting the efficiency of producers.

March to May and June to August farrowing intentions are expected to be below a year ago.

52% of hogs raised were raised on contracted operations with more than 5,000 head, 1% above last year.

The numbers look neutral to bearish near-term because of the larger supply but potentially supportive long term due to those farrowing intentions, but that will also depend on demand.

The USDA’s updated annual pork production projections are out April 11th.

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