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Minor Expansion in US Hog Herd Confirmed

As expected, the USDA’s latest quarterly hogs and pigs report confirmed some minor expansion in the US hog herd. 

Released Thursday, the report pegged the total US inventory of all hogs and pigs as of March at 72.86 million head, up about 0.2% from 72.68 million on the same date last year. Pre-report expectations were for a slightly more aggressive year-over-year increase of 0.3%. 

The March 1 breeding inventory, at 6.13 million head was up roughly 0.5% on the year, compared to trade ideas of 0.6%. The number of market hogs came in at 66.73 million, an increase of about 0.2% from 66.59 million a year ago, but still also slightly below expectations. 

The December 2022-February 2023 pig crop, at 32.1 million head, was up slightly from last year. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 2.91 million head, down slightly from previous year. The average pigs saved per litter was 11.02 for the December 2022-February 2023 period, compared to 10.95 last year.  

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