USDA’s June Hogs and Pigs Report was slow to surface on Friday (June 30) as governmental computer glitches delayed the release of the quarterly pig crop numbers.

Once announced, the report showed very modest production growth from 2005 levels, and generally close matches to pre-report trade estimates.

Here’s a summary look:

    2006 (Million head)  2006 as % of 2005    Pre-report Estimate
All hogs & pigs  60.93  100.3%   100.9%
Breeding herd   6.06   101.4%  101.3%
All market hogs  54.87  100.2%  100.9%
   Market Weight Categories
 < 60 lbs  20.60    100.9%    101.2%
 60-119 lbs.     13.44    100.5%   101%
 120-179 lbs.  11.20    100.5%   100.7%
 > 180 lbs.   9.63      98%   99%

Actual March/May farrowings totaled 2.897 million litters, up 0.5% from 2006, and within trade expectations. Average litter sizes for the period set another record at 9.08 pigs per litter, up 0.7 percent from 2006’s level. The March/May pig crop was 26.301 million head, up 1.2 percent from 2006.

As for farrowing intentions: June/August projections stand at 2.922 million litters, about equal last year’s level. September/November farrowing intentions are now at 2.924 million litters, 0.8 percent above 2006 levels.

Worth noting is the fact that pig-crop report numbers are increasingly analyzed down to the decimal point, notes Glenn Grimes, University of Missouri agricultural economist. There’s a need to be more precise today. “Due to the more consolidated industry, there is less year-to-year change in the numbers,” he says. “Also, the in-elasticity of live-hog demand is so much more significant today, and little changes in the numbers cause more significant changes in the market.”

The report is expected to have little effect on the hog market. “Overall, it’s a modest report, and shows that producers are very restrained,” notes Jim Robb, with the LivestockMarketingInformationCenter in Lakewood, Colo.