Uncertainty remains in the hog market

USDA’s Hogs and Pigs report comes out on Friday.  Purdue Extension ag economist Chris Hurt says there is still much uncertainty in the hog market regarding the actual supplies of pork the industry will see this summer.

He says those numbers are directly related to the PED virus.  “The death loss, we think, was the highest back in the winter months,” he says.  “That really relates to death loss that occurred then will put a gap in our marketings – or our number of hogs coming to market in July, August, and September.”

Hurt tells Brownfield because some estimate the death loss this winter was very large, Friday’s numbers could be a game changer to the market.

With hog prices are at record highs – and the industry is seeing tremendous profitability, Hurt says there are indications that the nation’s hog industry could already be moving toward expansion.  “Our sow slaughter numbers have been shortened up,” he says.  “That is sometimes an indicator that farmers are holding back some of those sows on their farms.  I don’t think it’s going to be a robust or really major expansion showing up – but I do think we could see this breeding herd 1 to 2 percent higher this summer, especially as we go into the fall.”

The report comes out Friday at 3 PM Eastern/2 PM Central.

AUDIO: Chris Hurt, Hogs and Pigs report (6:30mp3)

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