US - The average weight of barrows and gilts reported by the USDA last week was 211 pounds, about a pound heavier than it was the previous week, writes the Steiner Consulting Group.
But, hog weights are reported with a two week lag and it is not unusual for hog weights to move higher after the holidays due to holiday slaughter disruptions.
However as producers have resumed normal operations is appears weights are moving lower and our current calculations based on the MPR data show weights are about a pound lower than they were in the first week of the year.
Seasonally hog weights drift lower into late January and early February and then are flat to slightly higher through April.
It will be interesting to see how weights perform in the next few weeks. As with cattle packer margins, hog margins also have narrowed but they still remain quite strong and the incentives are still there for packers to run as heavy as possible to capitalize on the robust demand.
The weekly export numbers that came out this morning continued to point to excellent export demand, with January shipments (according to our estimate) on track to be 15‐20 per cent higher than last year.
ThePigSite News Desk