By now, the "trade" has digested last week's Quarterly Hogs and Rigs report, and given the response by the futures market, they apparently feel pig numbers will be manageable yet this fall.
Of course that doesn’t mean we won’t have big weeks - it means it is just less likely to have plants run on Sundays a few times to slaughter all of the animals coming to market.
I did receive a comment from one industry contact who suggested that the decrease in sow numbers in Iowa may have been due to accounting. That is, Christensen Farms sale of their sows around Iowa Falls was accounted for by CF when they did their March 1 inventory but the sows didn’t show up on Seaboards March 1 inventory. This would have shifted Iowa sow numbers about 50,000 or so.
As readers of this blog know, I track the prior day slaughter summary (LM_HG201). One of the items of great interest to me is carcass weight.
Liveweight is less meaningful since the Hormel plant at Austin back calculates liveweight using a fixed dressing percentage since they don’t capture liveweight at the plant.
I’ve written in the past that other than the summer of 2014 when we were short of pigs due Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv), carcass weight of pigs classified as packer-owned has always been heavier than the weight of pigs classified as producer sold. In the trade volume reported packer owned runs about 30-33% of the daily barrow and gilt slaughter and so far this year they are averaging just under 3 pounds heavier than producer sold carcasses.
Both packer owned and producer sold follow the same week trend, lightest slaughter weights on Monday and Tuesday and heaviest on Friday/Saturday. That trend is even more obvious this week. With only 258,598 slaughtered on Monday (there were some plants taking Easter holiday on Monday) we killed about 100,000 fewer pigs than normal for Monday.