Hogs & Pigs suggests larger than needed hog slaughter until the new year.

USDA's quarterly Hogs & Pigs report is the main report used to estimate future supply of US hogs. The current story is that unprofitable production since November 2022 has led to a general decline in the breeding herd. Of surprise, this liquidation has been more than offset by sharp increases in breeding herd efficiency. For this report we monitor the near term live hog numbers up ahead for slaughter through November. We also monitor future breeding plan. The main question will be whether the breeding herd has liquidated enough to improve prices.

The total US hog herd on June 1 was counted at 74.486 million head. This is +1.3% from last year. That was a little over the +0.8% trade estimate. It is the largest herd in four years. Hogs set for slaughter June - November, Kept for Marketings, shows +1.7% more numbers than last year. That was over the +1.2% trade estimate.

USDA reported the June 1 breeding herd at 6.008 million head. This is -3.2% from last year. Over the past four years the breeding herd has been trimmed by -6.5%. It is the smallest breeding herd in eight years. Much of this liquidation has been offset by extreme gains in efficiency. Weaned pigs per litter has grown by 5% over four years.

To project hog slaughter in the 7 - 12 month out timeframe we will note June-August and September-November intended farrowings, -2.5% and -0.6%, imply lightly lower numbers will begin showing around the new year.