US Hog Slaughter Tracking Closely With USDA's Forecasts

US - U.S. weekly hog slaughter data since March 1 have been tracking closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's projections from its March 31 quarterly hogs and pig report.
calendar icon 9 May 2006
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Weekly slaughter rates in March averaged just slightly more than 2% greater than a year ago. The USDA's hog report showed the 180-pound and up category as of March 1 at a 102% slaughter rate compared with a year ago, followed by 100% in each of the next two lighter groups.

But in April and the first week of May, USDA's weekly slaughters averaged about 14,000 head, or 0.7%.That's below a year ago, but immigration rallies on April 10 and May 1 caused some disruptions this year.

Hogs slaughtered in March would come mostly from the 180-up group, while April's slaughter would mainly come from the next lighter category, or 120- to 179-pound pigs, as of March 1, USDA said.

Ron Plain, agricultural economist at the University of Missouri, said daily hog slaughters tend to be the lowest in late spring.

Last year, the smallest non-holiday week slaughter occurred during the week ended May 13 at 1.827 million head.

Industry sources and market analysts said breeding problems during the very hot portion of last summer may have contributed to the slightly lower weekly slaughter rates in April and May.

Source: Cattle Network

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