Another record month for US pig numbers

US pig numbers are continuing to reach new record levels, according to AHDB Pork

The total US herd increased by 2% during the year to September 1, rising to 70.9 million head, it has been revealed by the latest industry report from the US Department of Agriculture.

“This was 4% up from June 1 this year, continuing a trend seen throughout 2016,” said AHDB Pork, commenting that the September figure was the highest for the month since records began in 1988.

“The number of pigs available for slaughter also continued to be at record levels, being up 3% on the year and up 4% on the previous quarter. Though numbers increased across the weight bands, growth was particularly strong amongst the heavier weights, with the number of pigs over 120lb (54kg) increasing by 4% on the year.

“As a result, slaughterings will likely be up both in the short term and into the beginning of next year.”

AHDB Pork also warned that further increases in pigmeat production in the US are likely to deflate prices, while increasing competition on the global export market.

“As a key competitor to the EU, these developments have the potential to negatively impact the global demand for EU pigmeat,” said AHDB Pork.

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