The USDAâ€™s quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report showed 72.5 million hogs and pigs, down 1% from last year and down slightly from last quarter. Steiner Consulting Groupâ€™s Chief Economist Altin Kalo says there are a couple years where the inventory increased significantly, but we have come down from those numbers in part due to China.
â€They seem to have resolved some of the issues because of the African swine fever that hit them. We don’t have that export market. One thing that producers always need to remember is that in the last 15 years, two thirds of the demand for our pork, the growth in pork supplies has come from exports.â€
Kalo was surprised about the increase in breeding numbers, despite higher grain prices and lower exports.
â€œSo, what drove that increase? And you know, we can all speculate as to what the reasons are, you can point at Prop 12 that got delayed, and maybe there’s a potential that that’s going to go away, hopefully. It also could be that we reduce the breeding herd by about seven percent since December 2019, and so maybe that’s been enough, you know, it’s been enough liquidation.â€
According to the USDA, Iowa accounted for the largest inventory, followed by Minnesota and North Carolina. Other key insights of the report include:
â€¢ Breeding inventory was 6.17 million head, down 1% from last year and up 1% from March. 1.
â€¢ Market hog inventory 66.4 million head, down 1% from last year and down slightly from March 1.
â€¢ March â€“ May 2022 pig crop, at 32.9 million head, was down 1% from last year.
â€¢ The average pigs saved per litter was 11 for the March-May period, compared to 10.95 last year.
Producers can visit porkcheckoff.org for more market information.