Hog Producers Trying to Raise Prices by Putting a Lid on Production

It appears the nation’s hog producers are trying to keep a lid on production and get hog prices up by reducing farrowings and balancing that out with more pigs per litter.

That is largely what appears to be happening.

USDA livestock analyst Shayle Shagam. He bases that on USDA new quarterly hogs and pigs report. It shows feral wings down 4% in the September to November quarter, with pigs per litter up 4%. Producers also say they intend to cut feral wings this quarter by 2% in the next quarter by 1%.

Their returns have been weak. Would they be looking at relatively low hog prices? We have seen declining corn prices but for the most part I think that they’re looking at you know, having seen hog prices that were that were at or below breakeven and that’s sort of conditioning them to try and pull in the reins on production.

And that is backed up by more than just the USDA numbers.

If we look at producer returns, Iowa State University measures of federal finished returns and they have from for this year they have been negative since January with the exception of just two months in July and August, with fairly sharp declines in October, November. So again, that is largely probably conditioning what producers were thinking in terms of not wanting to get too far ahead. In terms of an expansion.

The report shows the breeding inventory December 1 Down 3% from a year ago, the total hogs and pig inventory 75 million head up less than 1% from last year. USDA his most recent forecast for pork production projects pork output for 2024 will top this year by a small amount about one and a half percent. USDA projects hog prices will average $60 a hundredweight next year up from this year by $1.30. But that’s just 2% higher than 2023. This is Gary Crawford reporting for the US Department of Agriculture You