What should we expect in the March Hogs and Pigs Report?

Mar 27, 2023

USDA's March Hogs and Pigs report will be released Thursday afternoon, March 30. I expect it to say the market hog inventory is slightly larger than a year ago. The December report said the market hog inventory was down 2% for each market weight category. Daily hog slaughter was actually down 4% in December but that was due partially to adverse weather. Since Dec. 1, average daily hog slaughter has been up 0.1% and thus 2% above the level indicated by the December inventory survey.

Since USDA's inventory numbers are not yet available, I will comment (kindly) on my own predictions. My forecast for the hog inventory in Thursday's report is: all hogs and pigs up 1.4%, breeding herd up 0.9% and market hogs up 1.5%, year-over-year.

My forecast of market hog inventories by weight group is: under 50 pounds up 1.0%, 50-119 pounds up 1.5%, 120-179 pounds up 1.8%, and 180 pounds plus up 1.9%.

Both the June and September Hogs and Pigs reports were amazingly accurate. The December inventory survey appears to be a bit low compared to hog slaughter. USDA will likely revise upward their December market hog inventory as well as their summer pig crop to bring it in line with subsequent hog slaughter.

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