Combined hog and pig inventory for the United States and Canada for September was 76.8 million head, according to a USDA-Statistics Canada report. The inventory number is down 2 percent from September 2009 and down 5 percent from September 2008. The U.S.-Canada swine breeding inventory stood at 7.07 million head, down 2 percent from a year ago.

The U.S./Canadian market hog inventory, at 69.8 million head, was down 2 percent from last year but up 1 percent from last quarter. The pig crop, at 35.5 million head, was down 2 percent from 2009 and down 4 percent from 2008. Sows farrowed during this period totaled 3.61 million head, down 2 percent from 2009 and down 6 percent from 2008.

The figures may provide a look at trends for 2011. "If total inventories provide an indication of the current size of the industry in both US and Canada, the breeding herd offers a glimpse of potential future supplies and the outlook for the pig crop in 2011," say Steve Meyer and Len Steiner in the CME Daily Livestock Report. "One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the increase in pigs per litter has offset somewhat the negative impact of lower sow numbers."

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Source: Meatingplace.com