Steady growth for US pig numbers

02-10-2006 | |
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.

Pig crops

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 backwards.”
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