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UNITED STAr-. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Bureau of Agricultural Economics
HS-16 February 18, 1938
THE H 0 G SI TUAT 0 N
A further moderato advance in hog prices may occur within the next
2 or 3 months, the Bureau of Agricultural Economics states, as slaughter
supplies of lo-is are reduced seasonally. The present relatively small
stocks of pork in storage also will tend to strengthen prices which
farmers may expect to receive for hogs in the late winter and early spring.
Seasonal weakness in prices, however, is likely to develop in the late
spring and early summer when the market movement of fall pigs gets under
Sway in large volume.
The number of hogs slaughtered under Federal inspection in the first
4 months of the current marketing year, which began last October, was about
1.8 million head smaller than in the sa;- period of 1936-37. For the
remainder of the marketing year, through September, it is expected that
farmers will send more hogs to market than a year earlier. Most of this
increase in slaughter supplies probably will occur during the period from
May throu-'. August. With consumer demand for hog products weaker this
year than last, it is probable that prices received for the larger supplies
of Logs in the coming summer will average considerably lower than the high
average price of last summer.
During the last half of January and in early February 1:c; prices
went up somovhat,following the marked decline from mid-August through December,
The strungth in hog prices during. January was accompanied by the l&rg. st
monthly lh,- marketing since December 1936 and reflected partly the improve-
ment in storage daiand for hog products. The increase in stocks of pork
aid lard duri:.- January was larger than average, but stocks on February 1
were still relatively small.
R3VIEF OF RECENT D 1'. F:.::'T.
..._ : 9.D- '.ro. mid-October through November 1937 hog
prices declined from about $13 to ;S, one of the -r tost
declines on record for the period. This drop in prices
reflected: (1) Thu much larger-than-usual seasonal increase
of slaughter supplies of nc in the fall and early winter;
(2) the i..ii in consumer demand for moats and lard since
lato suCner; (3) the weak storage demand for hog products,
which in turn reflected partly the pro ,oets for larger
1 :_ht.er supplies of hogs in the spri-._ and summer of this
year than a year earlier; anc (4) the much larger supplies
of cottonseed oil available from the record cotton crop of 1937.
Ho- price rise in latc January and ol Februarj
HEo prices advanced moderately in late January and early February
after havi.. declined slightly a month earlier. The recent rise in prices
apparently was the result of some strcngth..:.ii-i in the storage der.and for
h. -.:irlcts, although :.arktutings of hogs wore reduced somewhat in early
February., The spread bctvoen pric s tf light and h h-.'.", h. -s continued
unusually wide in January, chi fly because of the relatively large
proportion of heavy lhogs in t ... r:.kt supplies.
Slaughter supplies of he increased further in J .r,.!r.". Insvcctcd
h'-. :! '~jhtur for the rocnth tot-.lud .,,_ 1,000 hvad, which nwas 6 -.r t
lar;-r then in I), : br -:.d 1I percent greater than in January last year.
Jan: ry s th- first r..onth in the current marketing year to show an
incrcc. in ho; sl'- "htcr over th. cnrr.- ending g month a year earlier.
In :ictl s l-u'htur in J.nu.ry wa.s3 tl..i largst for the ncntL since 1'34,
a:.iL'i,: h it vwns cslalllr thji that in :.:.:: .r of most .rs prior to 1'.' 34
The seasonal increase in :l- letter surlries from late summc r to
early winter was much greater than usual. And in January the number slaughter-
ed was more than 2-1/2 times larger tin the relatively small laughter of
last August. On the average, slaughter in January is less than tvice as
lir-e as in J.;- i_ t.
Inspected hog slaughter, by months, Octob r January,
average 1929-33, and 1935-3 to lj37-30
: Average :
Month :1929-30 to : 1)35-36 : 1936-37 : 1937- 33
1933-34 : :
: Thousands Thousands Thousands Thousands
pct. ........... 3,557 2,135 3,492 2,711
N1ov. .......... : 4,204 2,422 ;4,292 3,295
Dec. ............: 4,346 2,875 ,,601 3,958
Jan ..........: 5,096 3,428 3,519 4,201
Total........ : 17,703 10,860 15,984 14,165
Bureau of Animal Industry.
Average weights heavy in January
Average weights of hogs marketed have continued to increase. The average
weight at the seven le'lIi;,: markets for January was about 240 pounds, or more
than 20 pounds above the average a year earlier. Weights of hogs m:nrketed in
December, also, were above average for the :,icnth. The heasvior v'eights in
recent months over a year earlier reflect toh much large r sui;ppies and lower
prices of corn and other feeds this year.
Prices of ho7 products advance in January
Wholesalu Drices of most cuts -f fresh and curtdl pork were stay to
higher during January. Lard Irices also str ngthencd slightly during -the first
half of the month. Prices of all hog products, however, are now considerably
lower than a year earlier.
Storage stocks increase during January
Storage stocks of pork and lard incrorasd considerably during January.
Pork socks on February 1 totaled 553 million pounds, or 39 percent larger
than on January 1, but they wore much smaller than a year earlier. Lard stocks
on February 1 wore nearly double these of January 1, but they were considerably
smaller than the stocks on February 1 last .year. The increase in stocks during
January reflected partly the larger h._ slaughter than in the preceding month,
but it also a'lp-.::rcd to be partly the result of some improvement in storage
demand. Inspected hog slaughter in January was only 6 perc nt 1 ~-r'r than in
December but the increase in pork stocks in January was 155 million pounds
compared with an increase of 92 million pounds in December. The improvement
in storage demand is also indicated by the fcct that despite the larger
slaughter in January than in December, hog prices tended to strc. .then in
contrast to the declining trend a month earlier.
Storage holdings of pork and lard on the first of the month,
October-February,a-v.-- r.-_ 1929-33, 1936-37 and
5-year average :
:1929-30 to 1933-34: 19u-37 : 1937-33
:Pork : Lard : Pork : Lard : Pork Lard
: Mil.lb. Mil. lb. Mil,.lb. Mil.lb. b Mil.lb. Mil.lb.
Oct. 1 ........: 530 109 362 102 283 73
Nov. 1 ........: 431 69 355 95 266 39
Dec. 1 .......; 446 56 463 109 307 34
Jan. 1 ........: 565 72 667 146 5'' 54
Feb. 1 ........: 679 91 739 183 1/ 553 1/ 97
The number of hogs slaughtered i :1 -r Federal inspection from October
thro.-I, January 1937-1 w:as 11 .rc- nt small r than that of th: corrass ending
1 ?.;-37 period, but the total dressed weigh: of inspected .-h: slaughter was
only 5 c~ercent smaller. The increase in stocks cf oork and lard fr.:.. October
thrc .'. January was much less than in 1936-37. The smaller crveno:t of ht.-
products into st .r e about offset the decro-se in the total dressed weight of
:.: c. h-: slaughter, a.d the movermnt of :ic, ; products into consumption
from t':: .. r thr- n-h January was about the same as that of a year earlier.
Stocks, production, exports, imports, and apparent consumption of
federally inspected ncg Iroducts, October Ja.nuary,
average 1929-33, 1 ?i-37 3 nd 19?7-38
SO ct Jan ~ ~ n
..... .. Apparent
Period : Stocks, :Production: : Stocks :consumption
:Oct. 1 :(dressed :Sxports:Impcrts: Fb.1 : Oct.-
: weight) : : : : Jan.
:Miillb. Mil.lb. Mjil.lb. Mil.lb. LIil.lb. il.ib.
1933-34 .......: 639 2,993 290 2 770 2,574
1936-37 .........: 463 2,537 57 19 921 2,041
1937-38 1/ ... 355 2,415 109 22 650 2,033
Hog-corn price ratio continues abovee ._c
Corn prices declined somewhat in January and early February and this
along with the strengthening in hog prices resulted in some increase in the
hog-corn price ratio. Based on average prices of corn a:nd hogs at Chicago,
the ratio was 14.4 the first w.aek in February compared ::ith 13.0 a month
earlier, and 9.2 a year earlier. The long-time average ratio based on
Chicago prices is about 11.4 As was indicated in the January issue of this
report, the ratio between the price of light hogs and the price of corn is
somewhat higher than the ratio between the price of heav, hogs and the price
.u,.rther increase in lard cxtorts during December
Exports of lard continued to increase in Deceomlr. The total exported
about 22 million pounds, was larger than that of HTvo;.,bor and mrire than
double that of December 1936. Practically all of the increase in chipments
compared with those in November went to Grea.t Britain, that country taking
about 13 million pounds. Exports to Cuba totaled nearly 5 million pounds.
The increase in lard exports since Septehber probably reflects to a consider-
able extent the increase in lard production during the fall and winter and
the large supplies of cottonseed oil.
Exports of pork in December, slightly more than 7 million pounds, were
a little smaller than in November, but they were considerably larger than in
December 1936. As in November, t he reported v.: i :.t of pork exports in
December exceeded the pork imports of about 5 million pounds.
The yearly exports of pork and lard and in. cts of pork for the
period 1933-37 are given in the following table.
Exports of pork and lard and imports of pork, 1933-37
: Exports p
Year : Pork : Lard of pork
Mil. lb. Mil. lb. Mil.lb.
1933.........: 142 533 3
1934.........: 151 435 2
1935.........: 89 97 10
1936.........: 67 112 42
1937.........; 63 137 75
United States Department of Commercc. Pork includes bacon,
hams, and shoulders, and fresh, canned, and pickled pork.
Lard includes neutral lard.
BACKGROUND.- In the January issue of this re ort the
following conclusions were stated with respect to the
outlook for supplies and prices of hK s for the current
:'r- marketing year, e,.lin- September 30, 193?; (1) the
total live weight of inspected hcg slaughter for 1937-?3
will be as large or larger than that of 1936-37;
(2) consumer demand for ... products in 1937-33 will be
weaker than in 1936-37; and (3) with supplies as l]r.-c
as or larger than in 19: --37 and consumer deiianid weaker,
-:,- prices in 1337-38 are cxpectd to aver,. lower than
in the preceding year.
Larger markctings than year earlier expected, lru- 'y through Cpotember
Ins: cted .;~ slaughter from October thr.. ." Jan'-r-;.' was about 1.8
million head smaller than that of a year uarlicr. Slaughter in this period
was somewhat lar *.r than was expected earlier, partly because a fairly l-Lr,,:
number of 19^ fall pigs ..cro marketed after September; it is also possible
that a considerable number of 21. spri.. ,'"r-s have been marketed earlier
than was anticipated.
In the annual outlook report for hogs, as summarized in the November
issue of this report, it was indicated that inspected hog slaughter for the
year beginning on October 1, 1937, would be between 32 and 33 million head.
The 1937 fall pig crop, although slightly smaller than that of 1936, was
estimated to be slightly larger than appeared probable when the November
report was released. In view of the fact that the fall pig crop and
October-January slaughter were both larger than had been expected earlier,
it now appears probable that the number of hogs slaughtered under Federal
inspection in the current hog marketing year will be about as large as the
slaughter in 1936-37 of about 34 million head.
With the number of hogs slaughtered for the entire year 1937-38
expected to be not greatly different from that of 1936-37, slaughter from
February through September this year probably will be larger than that of
a year earlier. Most if.not all of this increase, however, is expected to
occur from May through September. Last year slaughter was very small during
this period chiefly because a large number of fall pigs, which are normally
marketed in that period, were marketed before May and after September as a
result of the short supplies and high prices of feeds. The 1937 fall pig
crop was only slightly smaller than that of 1936, but with much larger
feed supplies fall pigs probably will be.marketed in greatest volume during the
late spring and early summer after a normal feeding period.
If total hog marketing during the next 2 or 3 months should be no
larger than those of a year earlier as now seems probable, there will be a
considerable seasonal decrease in hog marketing from January levels.
Reports as to hog slaughter in the various regions indicate that a fairly
large proportion of the 1937 spring pigs already have been marketed, and
large marketing of fall pigs probably will not occur before April. But if
the bulk of the fall pigs are marketed in the late spring ahd summer, there
will be a fairly large seasonal increase in hog marketing after April.
During the remainder of the current marketing year the extent of the
increase in hog marketing over a year earlier, particularly in the summer
months, will depend partly upon crop conditions in 1938. Favorable crop
prospects would cause the retention of increased numbers of sows for fall
farrow, thereby reducing marketing somewhat, while unfavorable crop
conditions probably would result in considerable liquidation of both sows and
Larger hog_ marketingsto be partly offset by smaller stor-Ae stocks
Although no very accurate estimate can now be made of the increase in
marketing over a year earlier during the remainder of the 1937-38 hog
marketing year, this increase will be partly offset by the smaller stocks of
pork and lard now on hand. On February 1 the decrease in stocks of pork and
lard from the stocks on hand on February 1, 1937, was equivalent to the
products of about 1.6 million hogs of average market weight.
Further advance in hog prices expected this spring
In view of the expected seasonal decrease in hog marketing and the
present relatively small stocks of pdrk on hand, hog prices may rise some-
what further within the next 2 or 3 months. But if the present weak
consumer demand continues, prices probably will decline in the late spring
and summer, when the market movement of fall pigs gets under way in large
As hog marketing during the summer season are expected to be
larger than a year earlier and consumer demand for hog products is likely
to be weaker, the average of hog prices for the summer (May September)
probably will be considerably lower than the average of about $11.15 last
Seasonal changes in hog prices in 1933 to differ from 1937
The changes in hog prices from month to month during the remainder of
the present marketing year are likely to be much different from the changes
in the corresponding period of last year. From February through April
last year, hog prices were fairly steady, whereas some advance in probable
within the same period this year. From mid-May to mid-August 1937, prices
experienced one of the sharpest advances for that period on record.
Although some advance may occur in the late summer of this year, it will
not be nearly so marked as that in July and August last year.
Annual Livestock Inventory, January 1
The annual report of livestock numbers
on farms January 1, and of value per head, was
released by the Crop Reporting Beard February
17. Copies may be obtained on request to the
Division of Economic Information, Bureau of
Agricultural Economics, Washington, D. C.
The number of hogs on January 1, l'~I-
was estimated at 44,418,000 head. This was
1,470,000 head or 3.3 percent lar;-,:.c than a year
earlier and the lar--.t number since January 1,
1934, but the number was still much below that
of any year in the 30-year period before 1935.
Nearly all of the increase occurred in the
North Central (Corn Belt) States with numbers
little ch ..!?ied in other areas. The value per
head of $11.21 on January 1 was 68 cents lower
than a year earlier and the total value of
:498,2 5,000 vrs about .12,. :,000 less.
Supplies of hogs and hog products,specified periods
Oct.-Sept. : Oct--Dec.
Item Unit : Dec.: Nov.: Dec.:1928-29:1935-
: 1936: 1937: 1937: to : 36
Hog sl 'ughtered
Number slaughtered sands:4,661 3,295 3,958 .6,363 31,022
Average .........:Pound : 215
Average .........:Pound 161
Yield of lard per :
100 pounds live :
weight of hogs....:Pound 11.8
Production of lard.aMil.lb.: 118
Pork, including :
lard 2/ ....... do. : 502
Lard ............: do. : 72
Imports of pork 3/...:
34,142 12,464 9,964
164 158 169
5,586 1,967 1,682
493 546 7,171 5,124 5,601
73 70 961 712 756
Proportion of sows in:
slaughter / .......:Percent: 47.9
49.1 44.8 51.2 52.0
51.1 '49.8 48.4
I/ Bureau of Animal Industry.
2/ Represents apparent disappearance of federally inspected pork plus unrendered
/ United States Department of Commerce. Pork includes bacon, hams, and
shoulders, and fresh, carned, and pickled pork. Lard includes neutral lard.
/ Includes gilts.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 088617245
Prices of hogs and hog products,specified periods
SOct.-Sept. : Oct,-Jan.-
S : :Average:
Jan.: Dec.: Jan.:1928-29:1935-:1936-:1936-:1937-
1937: 1937: 1938: to : 36 : 37 : 37 : 38
: : :1932-33: ::
Average price of :Dollars:
hogs: :per 100:
Seven markets .....:pounds :10.04 7.7i
Chicago ...........: do. :10.24 7.9
U. S. average price
received by farmers .. do. : 9.40 7.5
Prices of hog products,:
Loins, 8-10 lb. ...: do. :18.76 16.0o
Hans, smoked, reg. :
No.1 10-12 lb. : do. :23.38 22.4
Bacon, saoked,No. 1:
dry cured,6-8 lb. : d. :27.62 27.2Z
H. W. tubs .......: do. :14.00 9.71
Average price of No. 3 : Cents :
Yellow corn, Chicago :,per lb.: 112 56
Hog-corn price ratio:2/:
Chicago ...........:Bushcl :9.1
North Central States do. : 9.4
Proportion of packing
sows in total Dacker :
and shipper purchases,:
seven markets /......:Perccnt: 4.0
Average, weight at : :
seven markets ........: Pound : 218 233
1/ 9.64 10.28
6.99 9.90 10.49
6.48 9.15 9.66 9.10 8.29
17.07 21.21 22.29 18.29 17.98
20.31 26.58 24.65
23.71 30.86 28.58 27.30 29.20
9.68 12.65 13.13 13.18 10.80
59 62 74 115 108 58
11.6 14.1 9.2 9.1 14.7
12.9 15.8 9.5 9.4 17.7
1/ 16.0 15.0 7.0 8.0
l/ 241 231 213 234
1/ Not available.
2/ Number of bushels of corn equivalent in value to 100
7/ Monthly figures cor.utod fro::. woukly avcrna.-z.
pounds of live hours.
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