Steady growth for US pig numbers
The number of pigs in the USA is still increasing. An
USDA inventory shows numbers of pigs rose to 62.7 million head in September
2006, 1% up in comparison to one year earlier.
Market pig inventory, at 56.6 million head, grew by 1% in comparison to
last year and was up 2% from last quarter.
Breeding inventory, at 6.08 million head, was up 2% from last year and grew
only slightly when compared to the previous quarter.
From June to August, the total pig crop of 26.7 million head, was up 1%
from 2005. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 2.92 million head, up
slightly from 2005. The average number of pigs saved per litter was 9.14 for the
June-August 2006 period, compared to 9.06 last year.
However, the question remains whether the demand will keep up with the
ever-growing number of pigs. A marketing economist from Missouri University
declared that 'holding demand may be the real challenge'.
If prices hold, November might be a new record, being the 34st consecutive
month of profit for US pork industry.
In Canada, however, the high exchange rate causes producers to sell small
pigs - to the US. "The winners are US packers," a Canadian management consultant
said. "In Canada, expansion has stopped and is even creeping
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