Commentary: December 2006 USDA Hogs and Pigs Report

US - Dr Mike Brumm comments on the latest USDA Hogs and Pigs report.
calendar icon 29 December 2006
clock icon 5 minute read
Mike Brumm
Mike Brumm

Table 1 provides an interesting look at where pigs were farrowed and weaned in the US for the previous 12 months (December 1, 2005 thru November 30, 2006). For this 12 month period, there were 105,423,000 pigs weaned in the US. As of the week ending December 23, 2006, producers in the US imported 5,706,968 feeder pigs weighing 55 kg or less into the US from Canada in 2006. In other words, Canada farrowing houses were the 8th largest contributor of feeder pigs to finishing facilities in the US.

Table 1. Pig Crop, December 2005 - November 2006

Figure 1 has the destination of the Canadian imported feeder pigs for every week since January 1, 2002. Iowa farrowed 15.7% of the pig crop in the US for the past 12 months and had 28.75% of the finishing inventory on December 1, 2006.

With a difference of 13% between farrowed and kept for market inventory, it follows that a majority of the imported pigs end up on Iowa farms. The uptrend in the percentage of pigs going to the Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska region since June 1, 2006 also suggests that producers in this region (again presumed to be mostly Iowa based) have an increased need for pigs to fill finishing facilities and are meeting this need with Canadian born pigs.

As readers can note from the following charts, Minnesota is another state that is increasing it’s reliance on pigs not born in-state to fill finishing facilities. This is evident by the growing spread between the % of the US Kept for Breeding Inventory and the Kept for Market Inventory.

In addition to Canada, where are these pigs coming from? The data suggests that Nebraska and Oklahoma continue to farrow more pigs than they finish to slaughter weight each year. North Carolina and Missouri are other major production states that farrow more pigs than they finish.

Also worthy of note is the continued steady growth in the % of the US Kept for Finishing Inventory in Iowa (now at 28.75%), Minnesota (11.08%) and Indiana (5.42%). While Nebraska appears to halted its loss in pig numbers, there continues to be a decline in finishing pig numbers (when expressed as a percentage of the US inventory) in North Carolina, Missouri and Oklahoma.

North Carolina declined from a peak of 17.56% of the US market inventory on March 1, 1997 to 15.14% in the latest report. Missouri declined from 6.06% on December 1, 1996 to 4.26% in this report and Oklahoma declined from 4.05% on December 1, 2001 to 3.53% this December.

December 1, 2006 Hogs and Pigs Inventory

Dr Steve Meyer, in his Daily Livestock Report from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange dated December 27 noted that the slight growth in the US breeding herd must be considered in light of any changes in the Canadian inventory. For example, from the June 1 USDA report to the September 1 report, US producers added 19,000 females to the breeding inventory. This was offset by a decline of 19,800 females in the Canadian breeding inventory between July 1 and October 1, meaning the combined inventory was stable for the fall farrowing period.

In this USDA report, the total breeding herd inventory increased by 9,000 head from the September 1 report. The Canadians will inventory their herd as of January 1. When combined with the relative non-growth in US inventory it is expected that a continued decline in their breeding herd inventory will result in an overall decline in the combined US-Canada breeding herd. While female productivity continues to increase in both countries, a decline in inventory suggests very limited growth in pigs grown for slaughter in the coming months versus the previous year.

While I have retired from the University of Nebraska and relocated to Minnesota, I continue to follow with interest the industry in Nebraska. In past commentaries I have often cited the decline in the Nebraska industry relative to the US industry. Thus, the recent stability and even modest growth in that states finishing inventory is heartening.

Further Reading

To read the full report, including all the graphs, Click Here (PDF)

To read the December 2006 Quarterly Pigs and Hogs report, click here

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