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Early signs that U.S. pig output could reduce by late 2016

Staff writer |
US pig producers are feeling the “struggle” of low prices, suggesting that production towards the end of 2016 and into 2017 could reduce, according to AHDB Pork.

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Based on the latest pigs report from the USDA, the total pig herd in the U.S. stood at 67.6 million at the beginning of March. While this total reflects a modest increase of 0.4% on the same point last year, it also records a 1% reduction from herd estimates published in December 2015.

“This suggests that supplies of slaughter pigs may reduce as the year progresses,” reported AHDB analyst, Millie Askew.

“For the winter quarter (December 2015 – February 2016) the US pig crop totalled 29.6m head, a very slight decrease (0.2%) on the year before. The number of pigs weaned per litter increased 1% on the year but this was offset by a 1% fall in the number of sows farrowed.

“As at March 1, the U.S. breeding herd was recorded at 5.98m head, virtually static compared to last year. Nevertheless, the number of female pigs intended for farrowing is forecast to decrease year on year in the next two quarters, by 1% in March to May and as much as 3% in June to August.

“This suggests that U.S. pig producers are feeling the struggle of low pig prices and that production towards the end of 2016 and into 2017 could reduce.

“As the US is one of the EU’s main competitors on a global scale, a reduction in production from the US could eventually see an increase in demand for EU pigmeat.”

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