The U.S. Department of Agriculture is scheduled to release its, ‘Hogs and Pigs Quarterly Report,’ Thursday afternoon.
Pork producers probably can expect to see a continuation of expansion of hog herds in every listed category.
Lee Schultz, Iowa State University Extension Livestock Economist says analysts believe moderate increases will occur with all hogs, farrowing, and marketings.
“When we look at all hogs and pigs estimates, I expect that will be up compared to a year ago levels, from two-and-a half to three percent. The breeding herd…right now I think we’re estimating it just slightly less than one percent. Note, if we look at the last quarterly hogs and pigs report, it was up one-point-five percent. So, we have seen some growth in that breeding herd. But where we have seen the biggest growth, and what’s leading to those bigger numbers is that productivity increase. We continue to see pigs per litter up. Last report it was up about point seven percent. I think we’re expecting that to be closer to what we’ve seen historically of that one to two percent increase,” said Schultz.
Schultz says, in order for pork producers to make money, exports of pork products will have to remain strong.
“Year to date, we’ve seen exports up ten percent. When we look at USDA’s expectations, they expect up ten percent for the year. I think we are in line with where we expect to be for the year. I fully expect another five percent or so increase in exports the next year. That’s going to be important for this added supply. When we look at our key markets, Mexico has been a very strong market this year, up 23 percent. South Korea has been up 32 percent. We’ve seen China down around 30 percent so far this year, but its important to put that into context. China was a big market for us a year ago, so comparing to a year ago levels, we are a bit lower. But continued growth in those export markets, both with those traditional markets, but also with those emerging markets continue to be key,” said Schultz.
Schultz says, producers have been current with their marketings, and there have not been heavier hogs going to market compared to past years.
He says its important to watch the upcoming quarter to see if producers will remain current.
“Last year was a great example of the ability of the producers to keep hogs current and really mitigate many of the impacts of large supplies building up later on in the year. Even with relatively low feed costs, I think it is important to keep marketings current. The industry has really showing the ability to do so. Demand has been strong. Packer margins have been strong, and I think that will be a big factor in the ability to keep the market current,” said Schultz.
Iowa continues to lead the nation in pork production.
Schultz says the Hawkeye state raises nearly 33 percent of the total number of hogs produced.