US Sows and Market Pigs in Decline (October 2010)

By Chris Harris, Senior Editor, ThePigSite. Our snapshot of the ongoing global pig industry trends as reported in October 2010 Whole Hog Brief. To read the full detailed analysis including all the commentary and graphical data, subscribe to the publication.
calendar icon 12 October 2010
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The number of hogs and pigs in the US has fallen by 2.6 per cent over the year, Whole Hog reports.

The breeding herd has fallen by 1.8 per cent and the total number of pigs on the market has dropped by 4.2 per cent.

Whole Hog says that the September US Hogs and Pigs Inventory shows a herd of 65 million and a breeding herd of 5.77 million.

In the UK, Whole Hog says that it has had its forecast for a change in the trend of the pig herd proved correct. The latest figures from Defra show a fourth consecutive increase in the size of the breeding herd. The herd has risen from 410,000 in 2008, to 421,000 in June last year and to 427,000 in June this year.

Whole Hog says that the significant figure is the rise in the number of gilts to 52,000.

The Polish Statistical Office has shown a 1.5 per cent rise in the breeding herd to 1.431 million head. The total herd was 14.87 million according to the latest census figure recorded by Whole Hog.

Global Pig Price Cycle Heads for Five-Year Peak

Whole Hog says that its global pig price cycle has moved past its previous peak, reached in May and June 2009.

It is now heading towards the high set in 2005 and Whole Hog believes this will be reached at the beginning of 2011.

Whole Hog predicts that with the global economy recovering prices could rise higher.

In Europe, Irish pig prices have moved up, despite the problems being suffered by the Irish economy.

Danish farmers have also seen gains and prices have also risen sharply in France in recent months.

Whole Hog says that in Europe, the drivers of herd size and availability of market pigs are dominant in determining pig prices.

US Exports Stutter but Growth Finally Arrives

The US has shown a two per cent rise in exports in the first seven month of this year. However, Whole Hog reports that exports in July this year were down by 3.3 per cent on July last year.

The US has seen growth in all its traditional markets except for South Korea where they fell by nearly 17 per cent in the period from January to July 2010.

For the Canadian export industry, the first seven months of the year have shown solid gain. Sales are up by 4.6 per cent, Whole Hog says.

Australian Market Gets a Taste for US Pork

Whole Hog reports that for the third month in a row, Australian slaughter numbers and meat production is up.

However, imports of pig meat have increased by 11.1 per cent year on year from July 2009 and exports have fallen by 10.1 per cent in the same period.

In Japan, Canada has grown its share of the market, while the Danish and US exporters are standing still. Overall, imports to Japan rose by four per cent in the first half of the year.

In South Korea, Whole Hog reports a decline in imports of 1.4 per cent in the period to August. The US has shown a drop of 12.2 per cent over the period, Canada 2.1 per cent and Denmark 14.5 per cent. In the month, South Korea imported 1.6 per cent less than a year ago.

October 2010

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