US farrowing intentions show 3% fall for next six months

Evidence of a fall-off in pig producer confidence in the US is highlighted by AHDB Pork in its assessment of the latest US Department of Agriculture (USDA) pigs report.

While current productivity in the states has hit a new record, the industry’s farrowing intentions for the second half of 2015 show a definite downturn in relation to last year.

Although noting that the total US pig herd on June 1 was 9% larger than a year earlier, AHDB Pork point out that the breeding herd is only 1% higher than a year ago and is actually down on Q4, 2014 and Q1, 2025.

“The quarter-on-quarter decline in the breeding herd may be a sign that the producer confidence, apparent a few months ago, has dissipated, given the low pig prices since the turn of the year,” said AHDB Pork.

“This is further reinforced by estimates for sows to be farrowed between June and November, which are 3% below actual farrowings in the same period last year. This contrasts with 1% growth in the March-May quarter, which was itself a slowdown compared with the preceding six months.”

Even with such an apparent slowing of production, however, AHDB Pork concludes that finished pig supplies are “likely to remain plentiful for most of the rest of this year”, ensuring that prices are “likely to remain under pressure until early 2016, at least”.

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