A joint report issued by the USDA and Statistics Canada is an indication that hog production in the two countries is on the way down. In Canada, the number of hogs farrowed during June was down 7% from last year. USDA data shows that U.S. sow farrowing fell by 2.7% in the quarter ending June first, compared to a year earlier.
J.P. Morgan analyst Ken Goldman says this is a positive sign for the beleaguered hog farming industry as it suggests that fewer North American hogs will come to market in the future and that prices could rise slightly. Goldman noted that the Canadian sow farrowing number was the biggest drop in a decade.
University of Missouri livestock economist Dr. Glenn Grimes cautions that slaughter remains very large. Grimes says based on animal weight August production could be a record. Grimes says not many signs are being seen that the breeding herd is being reduced very much and he expects hog producers will continue to post financial losses through the middle of next year.