UNITED STATES DE;.'LT;'.EIL' OF AGEICULTU T
ZEire-'i of A4'ricultural Economics
HS-5 Ma1rch 23, 1937
THE HOG SITUATION
I Sprin; Outlook Issue -
,..; _-_|- -- --- - -
nf-l*- y. TORY
-iis issue, which has been prepared with
particular reference to the report of farmersi
intentions to plant as issued M.arch 19 by the Cro-
Reporting Board of the Pureau of A ricultural
Ecrnornics, brin-s to date the 1937 outlook for ho's,
which was issued by the Bureau in cooperation with
Federal and State extension workers last Novenber.
Hog prices during the remainder of the current hoe marketing year ending
September 30, 1937, probably will average somewhat higher than a year earlier.
From Mlarch through Septemrber 1936, the average )rice of hogs slaughtered under
Fcder.l inspection was $9.90. Little change in hoc prices is expected during
the next 2 months, but the advance in nrices in the sur er months probably will
be at least as great as the usual rise in that period.
Inspectedhog slaughter during the remainder of the 133-37 r.arketing
year probably will be smaller than in the corres-:rndin; period of 1935-33.
Most of this probable decrease in slaughter is likely to occur during the period
from June to September. The expected decrease in hoc slaughter, however, will
be more than offset by the increase over a year earlier in storage stocks of
hog products now on hand. On March 1, 1937, the increase in stocks of pork and
lard over a year earlier was equivalent to the products obtainable from nearly
2,300,000 ho-s of average rnarket weight.
Consumer demand for hoc products thus far in 1936-37 has been somewhat
stronger than in 1935-36. A continuation of this stronger demand is probable
durinn the remainder of the current hoe- marketing year. On the other h-rd,
forci'n dcnand for Anerican ho, products is not likely to show much improvement
during the remainder of 1937 over the low level of the -ast 2 years. The in-
crease in domestic consumer deoane over that of n year earlier, however, will
offset, or nore thnn offset, the effect on hoe prices of the expected increase
in total supplies of hoc products for the remainder of the marketing year.
The total supply of feed grains per head of livestock on farms probably
is now no l.-r.,r than it was 2 :e-rs aCo following the 1934 drou-ht. The corn
supply a -arently is c-aller.
In the western Corn 2elt, where the effects of the 1"2J drought were
most severe, the supply of corn per hog on fans on Janunry 1, 1937 was about
40 percent smaller than 2 years earlier. Any considerable increase in 1"7- pro-
duction in this region, the most irnortant hore producing area, is dependent
uoon the return of corn production to sonethinir like P normal level. ,.,vr. if
an avernae, or better th-n .oer- e, corn cron is -ro3!.i,-c in the western n Corn
rolt this year, it is hardly likely that ho:, reduction will ap-roach levels
co 0 r-.le with the 5--ear (1329-33) avera-ge for several years.
If hoe0 -rices continue relatively hi-h and if conditions favorable for
the ir.ere", acreeage of feed crons continue, some expansion in hor production
in areas outside the Corn Telt is probable.
The acrea--e of corn and other feed -rains which farmers intend to plant
in 1937 is somewhat l-.r-er than the harvested acrc?.:-e of these cre-s in 1i.6,
accorCin,- to .or--. e intentions report as of archh 1, 1937, If these intentions
are c,-rried out ande if nor:.nl weather conditions prevail, the production .:f corn
this :e--r will be much larger than last year but srller/average. Such an in-
crease in corn production doubtless would ~. followed by a material increase in
the number of pi.:s produced in the fall of 1937 and the swrin2 of 1938.
EVIZ:: OF RECEBT ZEV1LO-1-T2TS
rac!k--round.- Ho;: prices in the marketing, year
1935-33 -:verm-ed hi:-her than in any year since 1923-29,
and were more than double those of 1932-33. The rise in
hor prices from 1932 to 1936 was due partly to the ira-
provement in consumer der.and for eats and partly to the
very small slaughter supplies of ho:;s occasioned by the
dro.'i-t of 1934. Fror late Sentember to late October '1.3,
hog prices declined seasonally but prices advanced steadily
from late November to early January when the weekly avcr.';e
price of hogs at Chicago reached $10.41. Prices declined
during : the remainder of January,
.H:i- pricess chan :e little in February
From late January to early Miarch ho.- prices fluctuated within a relatively
narrow ran.'e. The average -rice of hogs at Chica-o in February of $10. 0 was
sli :htly lower than the avera,.e of the nrecedin,- month. Although slau hter
supplies of ho-s in February were smaller than in January the effect of this
iecrease in supplies on prices a-parently was largely offset by the relatively
lar-e stocks of ho- products on h.id.
Temperatures in Eastern consuming markets continued unsc-sonably warm
during Februa-ry and early ":arch, and Drices of ho, products showed little
strength during the month.
Hog slaughter in February lar.-er than a year earlier
Inspected slau-hter of hours in Fe-ruary, totaling 2,' 4,0') he;d, was
19 percent smaller than that of January but 23 percent large er than a year
earlier. In every month thus far in the current marketing year, hoe slae -hter
has exceeded that of the corresponding month a year earlier.
Slaughter supplies of other livestock were unusually lar;e from October
to Fc :r'Iry. Inspected hog slaughter in this period was 43 percent greater
than in the corresondin- months a year earlier, 8 percent larer than in
1934-35, but it was about 13 percent smaller thm the 5-year, (11?,-30 to 1933-34)
aver?:-e for the period. The increase in hog slaughter from October throu-h
February compared with this period a year earlier, was partly the result of
the lIr,-er spring pig crop in 1935 than in 1935 and partly the result of early
marketin-s of ho;s which occurred because of the short supplies and hi h -rices
of feed grains brought about by the 1936 drought.
In 1934-35, following the drought of 1934, inspected hog slaughter
was fairly large from October thru!_-!i December, and slaughter during that
period represent an unusually large proportion of the winter and yearly
slaL,.!it- ;- totals. After December 1934 slaughter of hogs was sharply re-
duced continuing very small during the remainder of the 1034-35 marketin,-
year. From October through December this year slau-'.ter was .li,!tly larger
than in 1934-35 and since December it has not declined so much as in 1934-35.
Although the sl. u ht:r for the October-December period in 1936-37 will con-
stitute a greater-than-average proportion of the winter and yearly totals,
it is not likely that these proportions will be so lr.e as in 1934-35.
A:-1.e a weights of hogs slaughtered have been nearly as light as in
1934-35 and much lighter than a year earlier. Average weights, however,
have increased somewhat more from October to r-'ti'ruar'. this year than tney
did in the corresponding period of 19.34-55. Tr,-s, lighter a;v'er~ao- wei -its
have been the result of the short supplies of feed grains and the .i--L rices
of these .--i1:3 in relation to hog prices. TI:Fe ratio between '".g prices and
corn prices in recent months has been slightly higher than it was in 1.'4-:-'
but it has been considerably lower than in 1'.:-:'-, e..d much below a '. ro.."
t, r,- stocks large
Storage stocks of hog products continued to increase during February
although t'.e increase was somewhat less than in rther recent months. Stocks
of pork on 'arch 1, totaling 774,000,000 pounds, were 5 percent larger than
a month earlier, 71 percent .-- ter than a year earlier, v... 18 percent
larger than the 5-year Miarch 1 -v,-r- -. Stocks of lard on M:arch 1, tot.a i..
202,000,000 pounds, were 11 percent l'.irP.r than on February 1 and were the
largest for March 1 rn record. The increase in storage holdings of pork ini
lard on !.arc: 1 over those of a "':-.r earlier, equivalent to the products of
about 2,80 ,000 hogs of average market weight, is one <:f the major :'."tors
in the presc-it og situation.
The storage situation thus far in 19.,'-37, foilowi:..- the 1936 ,.r-ui t,
has been sonswhat different from that of 1934-35, follow n- the 1934 drou-:ht.
At the begininni .' the storage season, Nov -i.?er 1, 1..4, st.--:. stocks
-f hog products were about av'. '..-:,. Such stocks increased materially from
r-vermber 1, 1534 to January 1, 1'.-.5, but did not increase .r:. January and
Feb- I~.:- as they usually do. On November 1, 1'.C,.',*, stocks : products were
considerably below average, but they increased i:ar ly in overnber and Dec-
ember and continued to increase in January ar-t- February. At the b .-i n':.-
of March they wcre much i --! r than 2 years earlier.
From Oetaber 1 to :',r,? 1, 19..'-37 the increase in stcr.a-- stck-s of
perk and lard was equal to about 17 percent of the total ,-i:. s -" ,N :-
hr s slaung'tered under Federal i:.,,ection dur!..,- the -- iod. In the crr-
r r .; in: .. riod of 1934-35 the increase in stocks of 'rk and In:'V was
:'.'.. tr about 5 r, I .- -.t of the total d-..r- i weight of ins-ected .-'.: '-.tor.
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Storage holdings of perk, lard, and cottonseed oil on March 1,
annual 1935-37, and February 1, 1937
: Mar. 1
Pork: : pounds
Dry salt, cured :
and in process :
of cure .......: 95,617
Pickled, cured :
and in process :
of cure .......: 378.636
Mar. 1, Feb* 1, : Mar. 1
1936 1037 1937 1/
1,000 1,000 1,000
pounds pounds pounds
101,724 321,668 325,884
267,616 341,2"' 365,049
I- t, ---- ,_. '- .~-
Total ....: 654,738
Lard ..............: 103,202
Cottonseed oil 2/ : 841,968
l/ Preliminary. 2 Bureau
terms of crude oil.
of the Census.
Crude and refined oil expressed in
Exports of hog products small in 1936-37
E.p-.-rts of hog products thus far in 1936-37 have been near record low
levels. Exports of pork for the period October to January totaled only about
19 million pounds which was slightly smaller than in 1935-36, and much smaller
than in earlier years. zE:(crts of lard for the same period amounted to about
38 million pounds which was 10 million pounds l'-r' r than in the, ,orresponrilin;
months in 1935-36, but was much smaller than the lard exports/the correspond-
ing period in other recent years. The low level of exports is partly the
result of short supplies and relatively high prices for hcg productss in this
country. Howeve-, it is also partly due to restrictions on imports of hog
products in E.'r l- i countries and to the generally weak foreign demand for
American hog products which has developed during the past decade as a result
of increased European hog production.
Restrictions on imports of cured pork in Great Britain are being con-
tinued, and because of foreign exchange difficulties Germany has taken only
small quantities of American h-I,. products in the last 2 years. Hog production
in Germany also is at a very high level, nith the number of hogs in that
country at the end of 1936 the la, np t. for that period of the year on record.
Since Great B.ritain and Germany have in the past represented the chief foreign
outlets for United States hog products, no immediate nor significant upturn in
the exports of these products is now in prospect.
".-l i: on farms January 1
T-.- number of hogs on farms on January 1, 1937 was estimated to
be 42,774,('"-,- head, or about the same as on January 1 a year earlier, but
about 10 percent larger than on January 1, 1935. Except for 1935, how-
ever, the number on farms at the begirn-ir.n of the present year "was the
smallest in more than 35 years. The number on January 1 this year was
larger than a year earlier in all r%.eicns except in the West North Cen-
tral States, -here the number -as 15 percent smaller. Increases over last
year ranged from 7 percent in the South Central States to 19 percent in
the Western States, with the number in the East North Central States bein.
8 percent larger.
Hogs on farms January 1, by geographic divisions, 1933-37
SUnited : North Central States Other
Year States East West Total States
: Thousands Thousands 7!,i..r.l ad T .r, 7'i,.'r.ir
1953 2,127 14,716 28,695 43,411 1,716
1934 58,621 14,289 26,778 41,067 17,55'
1935 : 39,304 9,921 14,616 24,537 14,467
13 : 42,137 11,069 16,983 28,r02 14,785
1937 1/ : -',774 11,946 14,527 26,473 16,301
The decline in hog numbers in the West ::'.-rth Central States durir:.
the last year was a reflection of the "-:r" severe 1r-u-i.' and the -r-.atly
reduced corn crop in 1.'7. Corn production in 1936 in this area was even
smaller than in 1934. The ac- "n.'trnllnp table sho-ws the number cf ''.--, on
farms on January 1 by important regions for the years 1973-37. ro-. Janu-
ary 1, 1933, to January 1 this year, the number of '.r;:- on farms was re-
duced by more than 19 million head. More than t-o-thirds .f: this reduction
cecarred in the .-rct North Central States. In the ra.-t North Central States
the decrease :'r-:. 1933 to 1937 amounted to 3 million head and in the areas
o sidee the North Central States the decrease -as only about 2 million
On J:,-. ar, 1, 1953, the number of '.--- in the -. :t North Centr-il
States represented 64 percent of the ':-ted States total, but 'c, J"r.:.rT 1,
1-, this proportion had been reduced to -'1 percent, the smallest in the
last 13 years at least.
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B-ickground.- The 1936 spring pig crop was about 30
percent larger than that of 1935, and despite the severe
drought the 1936 fall pig crop was 6 percent larger than
that of a year earlier, On the basis of the total pig crop
of 1936, it was indicated in earlier reports of this Bureau
that inspected hog slaughter in 1936-37 probably would be
about 35 or 36 million head, or from 12 to 16 percent greater
than the slaughter of 1935-36. It was also stated that the
effect of this increase upon hog prices probably would be
largely offset by the improvement in domestic consumer demand
for hog products. Thus it was stated the yearly average of
hog prices for 1936-37 would be about the saje or slightly
higher than the average for 1935-36. The December 1936 pig
crop also indicated that the number of sows to farrow in the
spring of 1937 probably would be about 5 percent smaller than
the number farrowing in the spring of 1936.
Slaughter supplies of hogs probably will increase seasonally during
late April and May as marketing from the 1936 fall pig crop begin in large
volume. Ordinarily, most fall pigs are marketed from April through September
with the peak of marketing in May or Juno. The market movement of fall
pigs this year may not follow the usual movement because of the marked
shortage in supplies and high prices of feed grains.
Feed supplies small
Total supplies of feed grains in relation to livestock numbers on
farms apparently are now no larger than 2 years earlier and the supply of
corn is smaller.
The accompanying table shows the supply of corn on hand in relation
to the number of hogs on farms of crop and livestock correspondents re-
porting to the Bureau of Agricultural Economics for January 1, 1933-37. In
all regions the number of bushels of corn per hog on farms on January 1, 1937,
was much below average and even smaller than 2 years earlier, following the
drought of 1934. In the ':est North Central States (Western Corn Belt) where
the effects of the 1936 drought were most severe, the supply of corn per hog
on January 1 this year was nearly 40.percent smaller than on January 1, 1935.
In view of this shortage of feed grains it is evident that hog producers
will not be able to follow their usual feeding and marketing practices
during the next 6 months at least,
Supply of corn per hog on farms, by regions, January 1, 1933-37
Region : 1933 : 1934 : 1935 1936 : 1937
: Bushels Bushels Bushels Bushels Bushels
East ...........: 34.4 29.7 28.8 43.9 23.6
West ...........: 31.7 27.5 15.9 24-8 9.8
Total ........: 32.6 28.3 21.1 32.3 16.0
North Atlantic ....: 43.8 44.4 67.2 61.9 52.7
South Atlantic ....: 24.2 27.6 30.8 35.5 30.7
South Central _/ ..: 24.0 21.7 26.4 27.1 24.6
Based on reports received by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics from its crop
and livestock correspondents.
I/ T::ce .. iir.; Texas.
In general, hog producers are likely to follow either of two courses in
marketing their fall pigs. They .',y endeavor to finish such ji-s and market
their; as rapidly as they reach markotable weights in the spring and early surnor.
This is likely to bc the course adopted in the Eastern Corn Belt and elsewhere
where the supply of foed grains has not boon so greatly reduced. Secondly, if
pasture and crop conditions this spring are favorable, a 1.r-e number of fall
pigs m;ay be carried on pasture with little or no grain and finished for market
on the new crop of s.all grains which will become available in the lat% surz.:er
and on the new corn crop in the fall. This probably will be the course followed
by r:.'any producers in the Western Corn Belt, where feed supplies are of record
small proportions. If these two courses are followed by a l-:rj-: number of pro-
iucers, marketing of fall pigs probably will be fairly .r, in '.cril and May
and relatively small from June through ..j.-'t, with increasing supplies in
Septe;..ber and October.
If crop prospects are favorable this year, it is probable that the nur-b'r
of sows bred for fall farrow will be considerably larr.r than a y':-r earlier, and
the retention of an increased number of sows for bredirn, will decrease iheo
:..rketir. r in the late sumi.,.r and early fall. Hence, with f:vor--blo corn crop
prospects it appears that hr: slaughter in the sun:..or monthss ::ay be smaller
th-n a year earlier despite the increase in the 19.6 fall pig crop over that
of 1935. Most of this decrease in sl-.:-hter, however, is likely to occur -ft, r
r r 1 *r :}l .. I. r cts r- rr.:.i r r :.f-f 'lI '
.s indicated in eariier reports, it is probable that inspected h'7-
3l!u htcr for thu :.arkctLr.-- year .niir..- ..p .. .br ', 1937, will be: between
. ,5V^,03 and '".,500',00 head. r:.. October through Februiry -'.:,3-37 insr cted
- 8 -
slaughter totaled 18,800,000 head. Ti.u; slaughter during the remaining
months of the marketing year probably will range from 16,000,000 to
17,500,000 head. In the same period last year, when dro.:..a t conditions
caused considerable liquidation of spring pigs and so7s in the summer and
early fall, inspected sla.l.ter amounted to about 17,800,C-' head. In
the corresponding period of 1935 it was about 13,':"0,000 head.
In any event, it r-appar. probable that the total supplies of hog
products, including both hogs to be slaughtered and present storage stocks,
during the remainder of the present marketing year up to September 30, 1937,
will be somewhat larger than in the corresponding period of 1935-36 and
much larger than in the same period of 1934-35.
Larger feed-grain acreage indicated for 1931
According to acreage intentions report as of March 1, 1937, the
indicated acreage of feed grains for harvest in 1937 was about 5 percent
greater than the acreage harvested in 1936 but about 9 percent smaller than
the 1928-32 average. The indicated acreage of corn, the principal feed
grain for 1937, was nearly 95,000,000 acres, or 2 percent larger than the
harvested acreage in 1936 but g percent smaller than the 1928-32 average.
In the North Central States the corn acreage intended for 1937 was about
5 percent larger than the harvested a*rcide of 1936.
If the intentions as reported about March 1 are carried out and if
weather conditions are fairly normal, corn production this year will be
much larger than last year, although smaller than average. Under such con-
ditions a considerable increase will occur in the 1937 fall pig crown and
in the 1938 spring rig crop.
oLmesti.- demand for hog vrr, l.~tc continues to improve
Consumer demand for pork and
1933, when the depression low point
prices at New York and the domestic
hog products, consumer expenditures
of the 1936-37 marketing year was 9
and 17 percent greater than 2 years
summer demand has been bro.-t-' about
and in national income generally in
the present level of demand will be
1937, with some further improvement
lard has improved materially since
was reached. On the basis of retail
disappearance of federally inspected
for such products in the first 4 months
percent greater than a year earlier
earlier. This improvement in con-
by increases in employment, payrolls,
the last 3 years. It is expected that
maintained during the remainder of
Hog prices probably will not c.:,'-. greatly during the next 2 months.
Current large storage stocks of hog products prct.--l will not be reduced
materially before June, but it is expected that the seasonal increase in
slaughier supplies of h-r., in late April and May will not be large. Also
the further improvement in consumer demand for meats no:' in prospect will
- 9 -
- 10 -
largely offset the expected increase in slaughter and the large storage stocks
during: the next 2 or 3 months. As already indicated, if corn crop prospects
are favorable this year, hog slaughter in late sun:-.er probably will be relatively
small compared with that of the early sumner. Consequently, the advance in hog
prices during the sunner months probably will be at least as large as usual.
For the entire period, March through Septenber, the average price of
hogs probably will average somewhat higher than in the corresponding months
a year earlier. Theeffect of the increase in total supplies of hog products
for this period upon hog prices probably will be offset, or nore than offset,
by the expected improvement in domestic demand compared with last year.
Supplies of hogs and hog products, specified periods
: Oct. Sept. : Oct. Jan.
1936 1937:1928-29:1934- :1935- :1935- :1936-
Sto : 35 :36 : 36 :37
: 1932-33: _
Inspected slaughter j/:Thou-
Yield of lard per
100 lbs.live weight
Pr: luction of lard
. iL rent consumption:
Pork, inclu:diir lard
I:..:.rts of pork 2/
Proportion of sows in
:ML il. lb
:Pounds: 174 161 162
:il.lb: 595 751 570
::i 1.1b: 96
46,363 30,680 31,022 10,860 15,984
217 231 220
765 10,723 6,742
12.1 11.0 11.5
870 276 392
455 7,171 5,102 5,124 1,630 2,043
45 961 730 712 217 274
211 104 69
657 142 101
6 7 32
51.2 51.3 52.0 4S5.4
1/ Bureau of animal Industry.
2/ U.. S. .partlent of Cor.eirce. Pork includes bacon, hans and shoulders, and frros).
canned, and pickled pork. Lard includes neutral lard.
2/ Includes gilts.
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Prices of hogs and hrg :r d-ucts, specified periods
: : Feb. Jan.
Item Unit : 1931937
: Oct. Sept. Oct. ,:b.
:Average: : .
.." 9 1934- 1935- _.1:, ---
1937 35 36 36 37
:1932-33: : : :
Average price: :per 100
7 markets : bs.
received by farmers "
Prices of hog products
Loins,8-10 lbs. "
Hams, smked, reg.No.L:
10-12 lbs. :
:-.I dry cure,6-8 lbs "
H.W. tubs "
price of hog products
New York "
Average price of No. 3 :Cents
yellow corn,Chicago, :per bu,
Hog-corn price ratio 1/:
North Central States: "
Proportion of packing
sows in total packer
and shipper purchases
7 markets 2/ :Percent
Average weight at 7
10.05 10.04 9.88
10.37 10.24 10.08
9.34 9.40 9.19
19.9C 18.76 18.81
25.10 23.38 23.46
30.12 27.62 27.59
12.06 14.0C 13.30
20.84 20.99 20.55
61 112 111
3/ 8.18 9.64 9.52 9.62
6.99 8.42 9.9 7 9.79 9.86
7.54 9.15 9.01
17.07 20.08 21.21 20.85
20.31 21.62 26.58 27.46
23.71 28.24 30.86 32.50
9.68 14.29 12.65 13.64
17.36 20.49 21.93 22.87
62 86 74 65 108
9.1 9.1 11.6 9.9 14.1 15.3 9.1
9.4 9.0 12.9 10.D 15.8 17.4 9.3
228 218 223
i/ Number of bushels of corn equivalent in value to 100 pounds
/ Monthly figures computed fr-m weekly averages.
3/ Not available.
of live hogs.
Copies of "Agricultural Statistics, 1936" Available
A limited number of copies of "Agricultural Statistics,
1936" are still available. This 420-page printed volume con-
tains statistics which cover practically all of the important
farm products of the United States. The statistics relate to
aCl--5-e, production, :-rr, price, farm value, and foreign trade
of the principal commodities. Copies may be obtained from the
Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Wash-
inrton, D. C., at 50 cents each.
HOGS: PRICE AT CHICAGO AND FEDERALLY
INSPECTED SLAUGHTER, 1934 TO DATE
S/936 -37 /935-36
I 1' /934-35 193
2e?1 ,zrir i
OCT. NOV. DEC. JAN. FEB. MAR. APR. MAY JUNE JULY AUG. SEPT.
PACKER AND SHIPPER PURCHASES
U S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE NEG. 32233 BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS
urNi.ERSiTv F FLORIDA
3 1262 08861 7708
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