USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released its December Hogs and Pigs Report on Dec. 27, showing that the U.S. inventory of all hogs and pigs on Dec. 1, 2006, was 62.1
million head. That was up 1percent from Dec. 1, 2005, but down 1 percent from the September report.  

Breeding inventory, at 6.09 million head, was up 1 percent from last year and up slightly from September. Market hog inventory, at 56.1 million head, was up 1 percent from December 2005, but down 1 percent from last quarter.

The September/November 2006 pig crop, at 26.6 million head, was up 1 percent from 2005 and 3 percent higher than in 2004.  Sows farrowing during this period totaled 2.91 million head, up slightly from 2005. Those sows represented 48 percent of the breeding herd.  The average pigs saved per litter for this period was 9.13, compared to 9.03 last year.  Pigs saved per litter by size of operation ranged from 7.60 for operations with 1 to 99 hogs/pigs to 9.20 for operations with more than 5,000 hogs/pigs.

Pork producers plan to farrow 2.90 million sows during the December 2006/February 2007 quarter, up 2 percent from the actual farrowings for that period in 2006 and 2005. The March/May 2007 intentions at 2.93 million sows, are 1 percent higher than in 2006 and up 2 percent from 2005.

Total number of hogs under contract, owned by operations with more than 5,000 head, but raised by contractees, accounted for 38 percent of the total U.S. hog inventory, down from 39 percent  last year.
                             
Here’s a look at the category breakouts:

                                                (In Million Head)
Dec. 1 Inventory                     2005                 2006              Percent    
All Hogs and Pigs                  61.45                62.15              101
Kept for Breeding                   6.01                   6.09                101
Market Hogs                            55.44                56.06              101

Market Hogs and Pigs by Weight Groups    
Under 60 Pounds                   20.06               20.33                101
60-119 Pounds                       13.52               13.60                101
120-179 Pounds                     11.29               11.54                102
180 Pounds and Over            10.57               10.58                100

The December Hogs & Pigs Report provides pork production information on all states. For your convenience, there are several ways to obtain NASS reports. All NASS reports are available free of charge at the NASS Home Page at www.nass.usda.gov. Reports also are available by subscription free of charge direct to your e-mail address. Go to the NASS Home Page, under the right navigation -- “Receive reports by Email”, click on “National” or “State”.  Follow the instructions on the screen. For printed reports, call (800) 999-6779 .

Source: USDA