Market analysts have supplied estimates of key numbers expected in this week’s USDA Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report. The estimates indicate a rather high level of agreement, according to Chicago Mercantile Exchange Daily Livestock Report authors Steve Meyer and Len Steiner. The estimates were reported in a DowJones Newswire quarterly survey.

Analysts expect the U.S. breeding herd to be 3.4 percent smaller than one year ago. That is slightly larger than the 3.1 percent year-on-year decline found in the September survey and report. Should the 3.4 percent expectation be accurate, it would mean the U.S. breeding herd would number 5.855 million head, 206,000 head below one year ago and 19,000 head fewer than in September.

The spread between the high and low of most estimates is less than 3 percent and some spreads are very, very tight such as Sep-Nov farrowings at 0.3 percent from top to bottom.

The market herd is expected to be 2.3 percent smaller than last year as of Dec. 1 with the reduction spread quite evenly across the four weight classes. Note that these weight classes are slightly different with 50 pounds instead of 60 pounds being the dividing line between the two lightest classes.

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