S; iTELD STATES DEPLAETMrEIT OF AGRICULTURE
Bureau of Agricultural Economics
HS-11 September 18, 1937
-' ~~- --- - - --.. .
THE HOG SITUATION
Slaughter supplies of hogs during the coming fall and winter
marketing season, October 1937 through April 1938, are expected by the
Bureau of Agricultural Economics to be somewhat smaller than those of a
year earlier. With prospects for a somewhat smaller tonnage of hogs for
market and for the maintenance of a fairly high level of consumer demand for
meats, hog prices this fall and winter probably will average at least as
high as a year earlier. In the fall and winter of 1936-37, the average price
of hogs at Chicago was about'$9.90.
Most of the reduction from last year in the supplies for the fall
and winter season probably will occur in the first 3 months (October -
December). Although supplies in this period will be considerably smaller
than a year earlier, they will be seasonally larger than the small supplies
of the past 3 months (July September 1937). It is probable that hog prices
will experience about the usual seasonal decline during the coming fall and
It now appears fairly certain that the 1937 corn crop will be much
larger than that of 1936 and about the same as the 1928-32 average. With
lower corn prices and a relatively high level of hog prices in prospect, the
hog-corn price ratio in 1937-38 will be very favorable for hog feeding and hog
production., It is expected that weights of hogs marketed in 1937-38 will
be considerably heavier than in 1936-37. The larger supplies of corn id the
favorable relationship between hog prices and corn prices also are expected
to result in a materially larger spring pig crop in 1938 than in 1937.
.Following the marked advance in hog prices from mid-Juno to early
A.ui, zt, prices declined sharply in the last half of August and early
September. This decline in prices was brought about largely by a consider-
able increase in hog marketing in the last half of A'.ugust, a large out-of-
storagc movement of hog products during the month, and relatively high
temperatures over most of tho country, which temporarily weakened the demand
for pork. About mid-September, hog prices -. -in advanced sharply, recovering
a large part of the loss of the 3 preceding weeks.
REVIEW OF RECENT D :.'VEL.Pf;ENTS
B'-CKGROUND The movement of hog prices thus far
in the current marketing year has been rather
unusual. Prices ros. from late Novomber to early
JJanuary instead of declining as they usually do
during that p-riod of the year. From February to
early April prices remained fairly steady whereas
in most years some advance occurs in the spring
months. In May, hog m-.rketings wcr, sharply re-
duced and prices advanced, while ordinarily
supplies increase during May and June and prices
decline. A further sharp rise occurred in July
and early August, which carried prices to the high-
est level in 11 years. Because of the reduction in
feed supplies brought about by the 1936 drp-. uht,
corn prices have been high in relation to hog prices
in most of the present marketir.. year. Chiefly
bcac-use of the short supplies -nd high prices of
food grains, the 1937 spriii- pig cr-p was 7 percent
sm-.ller than th-.t ,f 1936.
Prices decline sha-rply in late August
After rc.chih. the highest level since 1926 duri:i the second week of
August, h- prices declined sharply in the l:st half Mf that month and in
early Septueber. In early August the top price of h-gs at Chicago reached
$13.75, but by early Septei.ibor the Chicago top w-as about $2 lower than a
annth earlier. The decline in prices apparently was br-"i-ht ab ut largely
by an incrcasu of h-g marketings after ;..id-.'. u.: a cmntinucd large -ut-of-
stor ..-. ventet of .:-rk and lard -nd unusually high temper-atures over most
of the country in la.to ;.a.'-st, which toup-rarily weakened the dem.-nd frr L -rk.
Srl.. the scc-nd f..ll week of Septobvr, hog prices again advanced recoverit..
a considerable pa.rt -f th, duclino of the 3 preceding weeks. This rise in
prices was c-.used chiefly by a reduction in hr,- m-rketings and by color
weather over :ido areas.
Inspected hoj slaughter in August, totaling 1,590,000 head, was
slightly smaller than in July and was the smallest for the month since
1902. Weekly .sl a!ht.cr supplies of hogs decreased almost steadily from
late April to early August, the reduction amounting to about 50 percent
during the period. This dccrv-. in supplies was accompanied by a rise of
about $3 per 100 pounds in the price of butcher hogs (barrows and gilts).
After rc-chirig a record low level during the first week of August, weekly
supplies of hogs increased more than 30 percent during the remainder of the
month. From early August to early September prices of butcher hogs
declined about $1.50 per 100 pounds. A considerable part of the increase
in supplies in the last half of August was due to the increased marketing
of 1937 spring pigs, which were generally light in weight. Market reports
indicate such hogs wore of poor quality and that dressing yields were
Stocks of pork and lard reduced
Storage stocks of hog products were reduced further during August.
On September 1 total stocks of pork were 21 percent smaller than on
August 1 and were the second smallest for Septomber 1 on record. The
decrease in pork stocks during August was somewhat greater than usual.
Stocks of lard on September 1 also were materially smaller than on August 1,
the reduction amounting to 24 percent. The decrease in lard stocks during
August also was greater than average.
Storage holdings of pork and lard on September 1, average
1930-34, and 1935-37 and August 1, 1937
Item average :
Froz.n ............. : 144,306
Dry salt, cured and
in process of cure :113,639
Pickled, cured and
in process of cure : 346,773
Lard .................: 135,425
Sept.l Sept. 1
1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000
pounds pounds pounds pounds
205,476 241,506 248,960 212,846
325,249 420,848 467,273 370,519
The situation with respect to storage stocks of hog products has
chanr-e materially since last spring. During the winter months the increase
in storage holdings was considerably greater than usual, and at the beginning
of March stocks of pork were more than 70 percent, or about 300 million
pounds, larger than a year earlier. Lard stocks on March 1 were about twice
as large as those of a year earlier. The increase in storage stocks of hog
products on March 1, 1937, over a year earlier was equivalent to the
products obtainable from about .2,300,000 hogs of average market '*ei:ht.
With hog slaughter from September to April unusually small, stocks of
pork and lard have been reduced sharply. The decrease in stocks of pork
during this period was considerably greater than average. At the beginning
of September, stocks of pork were about 50 million pounds smaller than the
relatively small stocks on September 1 last year. Stocks of lard on
September 1 were only about 8 million pounds larger than a year earlier,
whereas on April 1 they were much larger than a': ra-e. It now ap.i- rs
probable that the stocks of pork at the beginning of the new stor.ge, season,
November 1, will be about the smallest of record, probably only slightly
larger than the record saall stocks of November 1, 1935.
Prices of hog Products weaken in late August
Wholesale prices of fresh pork advanced considerably in late July
and in the first half of August, but there was a rather sharp decline
during late August and early Seotember. Prices of cured pork, however,
were steady to higher during August. Wholesale prices of lard weakened
during the month, chiefly because of the prospects for a large supply of
cottonseed oil to become available from this year's cotton crop. Prices of
most cuts of fresh and cured pork in August aver .- I higher than for
several years, but lard prices were about the same as a year earlier and were
considerably lower than in the suner of 1935.
Fe'oding situation improves
Although the hog-corn price ratio in July and At-i-ust was higher than
for several months and consequently more favorable for hog feeding, the
available supply of corn for feeding in most of the Corn Bolt was very small.
Ly early September, however, new crop corn became available for feeling in
some areas. The extreme scarcity of corn up to September probably accounted
in part for the early marketing of some spring. pigs. With large quantities of
new crop corn becoming available for fc.di:i; in the next 2 months, there
.r:.abaly will be a tondoncy to hold spring pigs for further fcdin-.
..i-1et prices of cash corn declined during July and August as prospects
for'a corn crop much larger than that of last year bccaae fairly certain.
This decline in corn prices was accompanied by a considerable advance in
hog,prices, hence the ratio between the r.arket prices of hogs and'corn increased
during this period. The ratio based on Chicagp prices in the second week of
August w:-s about 11.5 c.: .red with about 9 a m:on:th earlier -nd the long-time
average of about 11.4. The decline in hog prices in late .i u.:t and early
September was relatively greater than the decline in corn prices, and this
resulted in a slight drop in the ratio.
According to the September 1 crop report, the indicated production
of corn for 1937 is about 2,54 9,000 bushe.ls. This figure is about the same
as the 1920-32 average but a billion bushels larger than the small crop last
year. On the basis of product.oii indicated by the September 1 report, the
crop this year will be the largest since 1932. In the Eastern Corn Belt,
production will be above average but in the Westera Corn Belt, it will be
somewhat below average. The accompanying table shows the indicated production
of corn for 1937 and estimates for earlier years for the Corn Belt States
and for the United States.
Production of corn in the North Central States and United States,
average 1928-32, annual 1933-37
State and :
: 1935 : 1936 : 1937 1/
...... : 39,171
... ..: 69,926
Central...: 731,0(0 622,159 496,498 783,602 535,599 890,272
Minn....... 143,136 142,957 95,160 148,962 88,331 172,368
Iowa ..... 438,792 459,720 233,950 373,388 212,240 457,994
Mo. ..... 146,489 141,446 32,012 72,890 40,032 124,308
N. Dak. ...: 18,522 20,o5j 7,160 22,838 2,530 17,264
S. Dak. ..: 78,447 41,054 13,730 50,044 8,446 48,902
Nebr. ....: 223,843 234,690 21,363 106,630 26,859 74,358
Kans. ...... 126,7565 80,431 13,220 39,420 11,036 35,508
Central... :1,175,985 1,120,961 416,595 814,172 389,474 930,702
Central.... :1,907,045 1,743,120 913,093 1,597,774 925,073 1,820,974
2,396,525 1,478,027 2,296,669 1.529,327 2,549,281
i/ Indicated production for 1937 given in September 1 Crop Report.
Exports of hog products continue at low levels
Exports of lard in July, totilirg 7.8 million pounds, were slightly
smaller than in June, but they were larger than in July a year earlier.
Total lard exports thus far in the 193e-37 marketing year, October through
July, amounting to about 88 million pounds, vere about the same as in the
corres 'nridln- months of 1935-36, but were materially smaller than for any
other recent year. Exports of lard to Cuba thus far in 1936-37 have been
larger than for several years, but shipments of lard to the United Kingdom
and to other countries have becn the smallest in many years.
Exports of pork in July, totaling 5.4 million pounds, were slightly
larger than in June, but were considerably smaller than in July last year.
In the first 10 months of the present marketing year, pork exports amounted
to about 51 million pounds compared with 59 million in the corresponding
period last year. In the past 2 years, exports of pork have been materially
smaller than in all other recent years. The decrease in exports of both
pork and lard since 1934 reflects chiefly the marked reduction in hog
supplies and the rise in prices of hogs and hog products in this country.
Pork imports increase in July
Imports of pork in July, totaling about 7.6 million pounds, were
slightly larger than in June and were the largest for any month of record.
As in most other months of the present marketing year, pork imports in.
July were somewhat larger than pork exports. Imports of hams and bacon
in July were somewhat smaller than in June, but imports of fresh pork were
considerably larger than in the preceding rionth and were largest for any
month thus far in 1936-37. Although imports of pork have increased
materially in the last year,the increase was from a very low level, and
total imports are still very small in relation tc domestic production of
hogs. In the first 10 months of the present m-rketing year, Octobei 1936
through July 1937, the combined imports of pork a.nd live hogs were roughly
equivalent to the products obtainable from about 600,000 hogs of'aver .e
market weight. Hog slaughter under Federal inspection from October thrcugl:
July totaled 30,521,000 head.
BACKGROUND Ini the July and August issues of this
report the following iniic .tions were given with
respect to prospects for slaughter supplies and
numbers of hogs in 1937-38:
(1) The number of hogs to be marketed in
the coming winter marketing season, October 1937
through April 1933, will be somewhat smaller than
that of the corresponding period of 1936-37.
(2) Average weights of !L-io marketed in
1937-38 are expected to be somewhat heavier than in
the present year and perhaps heavier than average.
(3) With much larger supplies of feed in
prospect-for 1937-38-than in-1936-37, and with hogs
being fed to heavier weights, it is expected that
the seasonal distribution of hog m:arketings in 1937-38
will be nuch different front that of the year ending
September 30, 1937. Slaughter during the first 3
months, October through December, will comprise a
relatively small proportion of the yearly total and
also of the total for the first half of the year.
(4) With prospects for a somewhat smaller
tonnage of hogs to be marketed in the fall and winter
of 1937-38 than a year earlier, and for the maintenance
of a fairly high level of consumer demand, hog prices
in this period probably will average as high as and
perhaps higher than in 1936-37.
Although it is expected that market supplies of hogs in the first 3
months of the next marketing year (October through December) will represent
a smaller than average proportion of the 1937-33 yearly total, marketing
in this period will be seasonally larger than the unusually small
marketing during the past 3 months (July September 1937). Marketings of
spring pigs undoubtedly will be delayed by many farmers since larger corn
supplies with relatively high hog prices will encourage the feeding of hogs
to heavier weights. Nevertheless, a considerable number of these spring
pigs will be marketed in the early months of the new marketing year which
begins October 1. Marketings during this period probably also will include
some hogs from last year's fall pig crop which have been carried on pasture
during the summer and will be finished on new crop corn this fall.
Because of the unusually small slaughter in the past 3 months, it is possible
that the seasonal increase in hog marketing from September to December will
be relatively greater than usual / .
L/ This indicatio-n of the seasonal increase in slaughter supplies of hogs
supersedes that given in the August issue of the Hog Situation, in
which it was stated that the seasonal increase from October thr.--ouh
December might be less than usual.
Marketings of hogs from January through March 1938 are likely to
be somewhat larger than those in the October to December period. Supplies
during these two periods usually are not ;reatly different. Feeding of
hogs to heavier weights this year, however, will result in a larger than
usual proportion of the spring pig crop being marketed after the end of
December. Hog marketing in the late wintr and early spring of 1938,
however, will include a smaller number -.nd proportion of fall pigs and
packing sows than was the case in the corresponding period of 1937.
It is also probable that the storage demand for hog products in
the late fall and winter will not be so strong as it was in the corres-
ponding period of 1930-37. In late 1936 there was a strong demand for hog
products for storage because of the prospects that there would be a
material decrease in slaughter supplies of :io.s and a considerable
advance in prices of hog products during the remainder of the 1936-37
marketing year. In the 1937-38 marketing year, however, it is likely that
supplies of hogs after December will be larger than they were in the
corresponding period of 1936-37. Consequently, during the c~i.ing winter
months, hog prices are not likely to be supported by as str:-.g a demand
for hog products for storage as was the case last winter.
A seasonal decline in hog prices during the coming fall and early
winter of at least average proportions appears probable as slaughter
supplies of hogs are increased. If marketing are delayed to the extent
that now appears likely, the seasonal reduction in slaughter supplies of
hogs in the late winter may occur later than usual and may be less than
average. In this event, a smaller than average seasonal advance in hog
prices after January 1938 is to be expected.
7ith a larger than average corn crop fairly certain in the Eastern
Corn Belt and in Iowa and Milnnesota and a considerably larger crop than
last year in all of the Corn Belt States, supplies of corn will be much
more plentiful than fbr several years, and prices of corn will be nuch
lower than in 1936-37. The hog-corn price ratio during the first 8 or 9
months of 1937-38, at least, will be relatively favorable for hog
production. It is probable, therefore, that the 1938 zprin- pig crop will
be considerably larger than that of 1937.
A succession of several average or near-avera.::e corn crops in the
next few years would result in a markedd increase in hog croiiuction from
the present low level, But even with plentiful feed supplies, hog slaughter
probably will not reach the aver_.ge for the 5 years pr.ceciin: the 1934 drought
before 1940 or 1941.
Supplies of hogs and hog products, specified periods
S : : : Oct.-Sept. : Oct.-July
: : : :Average: :
Item : Unit :July :June :July :1928-29: 1934-:1935- : 1935-:1936-
S :1936 :1937 :1937 : to : 35: 36 : 36 : 37
Inspected : thou- :
sl iuhter 1/..... sands :2,692
2,110 1,643 46,363 30,680 31,022 26,365 30,520
Total......,,. ..... :mil .lb,.
Total ........... :mil.lb.:
Yield of lard per
100 pounds live
weight of hogs....:pound
Production of lard :mil.lb.:
Pork,incl. lard :mil.lb.:
Lard ............:mil.1 b.:
Imports of pork 2/:mil.lb.:
Proportion of sows :
247 236 246 231
664 498 403 10,723
175 181 175 164
369 297 8,069 5,012
11.6: 12.1 12.2 11.2
790 870 746 755
457 429 7,171 5,102 5,124 4,246 4,728
53 62 961 730 712 587 610
9 5 5 211 104
8 8 8 657 142
3 3 8 6 7
51.3 52.0 50.0 50.4
1' Bureau of Animal Industry.
/ United States Department of Commerce. Pork includes bacon, hams and shoulders,
and fresh, canned and pickled pork. Lard includes neutral lard.
"' Includes gilts.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Phlllllllre ofhos1tl 1ltlhg tspecifi| llperiods
-10- 3 1262 088617724
Prices of hogs and hog products, specified periods
: : : Oct.-Sept. : Oct -Aug.
:: : :Average:
: Unit :1936 :1937
: to : 35 : 36 : 36 : 37
Average price: :dolls.per:
Seven markets :100 lb.
Chicago ..........: "
U.S. average price
received by farmers: "
Prices of hog
Loins, 8-10 lb. "
No. 1, 10-12 lb.: "
No.l dry cure,
6-8 lb. ........: "
H.W. tubs ......: "
price of hog
products, New York : "
Average price of
No. 3, Yellow corn,: cents
Chicago ...........:per lb.
Chicago .........: bushel
States .........: "
Proportion of -.ck-
ing sows in total
packer and shipper
'.rc.. ses, seven
markets 3/........ percent
A-..:rj -e :ci,-lt at
seven markets .....: pound
9.84 11.37 11.53
10.06 11.57 11.77
9.89 10.70 11.46
26.81 26.78 28.00
29.75 29.91 32.62
12.81 13.62 13.00
21.94 22.78 23.95
8.9 9.8 11.3
9.5 9.5 11.9
8.18 9.64 9.64 10.20
8.*42 9.90 9.90 10.41
6.48 7.54 9.15 9.10 9.57
17.07 20.'-5 21.21 20.95 21.90
20.31 21.62 26.58 26.66 24.37
28.24 30.86 31.06 z2.09
14.29 12.65 12.66 13.14
17.36 20.49 21.93 21.90 21.17
62 86 74' 71 116
11.6 9.9 14.1 14.6
12.9 10.0 15.8 16.3
/ 1/ 16.0 15.0 14.o
261 i5S 1/ 229 241 241
I_/ i'ot available.
2/ Number of bushels of corn equivalent in value to 100 pounds of live hogs.
j/ Monthly f: 'urus computed from weekly aver ,--.