The hog and pig numbers published by USDA in the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report issued June 27th showed the effects of PEDv on the U.S. swine herd. The report indicated that the June 1 inventory of market hogs was 5 percent lower than a year ago.
The inventory of breeding animals was virtually unchanged from June 1 of last year, despite significantly higher hog prices in 2014 that—in the absence of a major disease outbreak such as PEDv—would typically have led to industry expansion. With new information from the June report, USDA lowered pork production slightly in both 2014 and 2015 relative to pre report production forecasts.
Pork production for 2014 is expected to be about 22.76 billion pounds, 1.89 percent below production in 2013. This reduction is only slightly below the pre report production forecast of 22.82 billion pounds. In the second half of 2014, significantly higher dressed weights are expected to limit production declines due to lower supplies of slaughter-ready hogs from PEDv-reduced pig crops. Thirdquarter average prices of live equivalent 51-52 percent lean hogs are expected to be $86-$90 per cwt, almost 25 percent above prices a year ago. Fourth-quarter average prices are expected to be $76-$82 per cwt, more than 29 percent higher than in the same period last year.
U.S. pork production in 2015 is expected to be 23.24 billion pounds. This volume is 2.1 percent higher than the production forecast for 2014 and slightly reduced from the pre report forecast of 23.3 billion pounds.
The year-over-year production increase next year is premised on larger farrowings, slowly increasing litter rates, and slightly higher average dressed weights. Average hog prices next year are expected to be $75-$81, about 3 percent below prices this year but almost 21 percent above average hog prices in 2013.