US pig herd shows all-round growth

The US pig herd stood at 68.4 million at the beginning of June, 2% up on the same point last year, making it the highest “all hogs and pigs inventory” since estimates began in 1964, according to AHDB Pork.

Based on the latest quarterly hogs and pigs report from the US Department of Agriculture, the total number of pigs available for slaughter was also up 2% from last year, and 1% from the previous quarter. This was also the highest June 1 inventory since 1964.

“Breaking it down by weight band, all weights were up on a year earlier, with marginally more at the lower weight bands,” said AHDB Pork. “This suggests that supplies of slaughter pigs will continue to increase throughout the year.”

It was also reported that the March-May 2016 pig crop, at 30.3 million head, was up 3% on 2015 and was the largest March-May crop since 1971. The number of sows farrowed during this period was up 1%, representing 48% of the breeding herd, while the number of pigs weaned per litter was at a record high of 10.48.

“All of these factors point to a growing US pig herd, both short and longer term,” said AHDB Pork. “With the US being one of the EU’s main competitors on a global scale, this increase in production could affect the demand for EU pigmeat.”

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