The U.S. inventory of all hogs and pigs on Sept. 1 fell 1.4% from a year ago to 73.8 million head, USDA said Thursday in its latest quarterly Hogs and Pigs report.
The drop was steeper than the 0.8% decline the market had anticipated, pointing to tighter hog supplies in the near term, and is likely to put upward pressure on prices, analysts said.
"The total number of hogs and pigs in the US came in below expectations; in fact, every major supply indicator was under consensus. All else equal, this should signal fewer hogs available than expected, which is not ideal for packers such as (Tyson)," J.P. Morgan analysts wrote in a report to clients.
USDA said the breeding inventory, at 6.15 million head, was down 1% from last year, and the market hog inventory, at 67.6 million head, was also down 1%.
The June-August 2022 pig crop, at 33.6 million head, was down 1% from a year ago, and sows farrowing during this period totaled 3.02 million head, down 1%.
U.S. hog producers intend to have 2.97 million sows farrow during the September-November 2022 quarter, down 2% from the actual farrowings during the same period a year earlier, and down 6% from the same time two years earlier.
Intended farrowings for December 2022-February 2023, at 2.90 million sows, are down 1% from a year ago and down 1% from the same period two years ago.
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