UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS
JULY 18, 1938
TH E H O G S I T U A T N
"1GE PRICE OF HOGS AT CHICAGO. FEDERALLY INSPECTED
SLAUGHTER OF HOGS, AND INCOME OF INDUSTRIAL
WORKERS, UNITED STATES, 1929-38
Income of industrial workers*
S(Index numbers. 1924-29=100)
1929, 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936
*ADJUSTED FOR SEASONAL VARIATION
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
NEG. 34437 BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS
THIS CHART SHOWS THE RELATIONSHIP OF CHANGES IN SLAUGHTER
SUPPLIES OF HOGS AND CHANGES IN INCOMES OF CONSUMERS TO CHANGES
IN HOG PRICES. THE LOWER LEVEL OF HOG PRICES THUS FAR IN 1938
HAS BEEN LARGELY THE RESULT OF THE DROP IN INCOMES OF CONSUMERS
SINCE THE SUMMER OF 1937.
Of Interest to Livestock Economists and Producers
These reports are available upon
request to the
Bureau of Agricultural Economics
June 1 Pig Crop Report (Issued June 29) Estimates by States, of pigs
saved and sows farrowed, spring and fall, for 1936, 1937, and 1938.
Livestock, Meats and Wool Market Statistics and Related Data 1937
(Issued May 1938) The fifth annual statistical handbook.
Includes statistics for 1937 and earlier years.
Farm Production from Meat Animals, by States (Issued June 1938) -
Contains the 1936 revised and 1937 preliminary estimates of
inventory numbers of meat animals, production, farm disposition
Disposition of Feed Grains, Corn, Oats, Barley, and Grain Sorghums
(Issued June 1938) An historical series of tables showing
estimates of farm disposition. The series on corn, oats, and
barley cover the crops 1909 to 1936, inclusive; for feed grains,
from 1919 to 1936, inclusive. The data are on a crop-year basis.
Shrinkage and Dressing Yields of Hogs (Issued June 1938) In brief,
this printed bulletin by Knute Bjorka, Agricultural Economist,
describes the extent to which hogs lose weight while being shipped
to mrLrkut. The publication, Tcchnical Bulletin No. 621, contains
numerous charts and tables of d-.t-L analyzing shrinkage and
dressin- yields in relation to time in transit, to weight,
to the season of shipmercnt, and to the source of purchase. Shrinkage
of hojs in transit may result from oxcrction or from loss in weight
of tissue. It is the loss of actual tissue ;iciht that causes
the dressing yield of hogs to decrease. Tissue shrinkage, it was
found, b..irins early in the period of transit and continues until
hogs reach the plant where they are oliughtcred. It occurs even
though feed and water arc given enroute, and is more rnpid in
light weight hogs than in hugz of heavier weight.
July 19, 1938
THE H O G SIT UAT I N
Summer Outlook Issue -
Supplies of hogs for market in the marketing year beginning next
October probably will be materially larger than those of the present marketing
year. The Bureau of Agricultural Economics says that the effect of these
larger supplies upon hog prices for the year as a whole probably will be
offset, at least in part, by improvement in the consumer demand for meats.
The spring pig crop was 13 percent larger than that of last year,
and 9 percent more sows are indicated to farrow this fall than last. With
the spring pig crop being marketed largely during the following winter and
the fall crop during the follow ing summer, it is expected that hog marketing
in 1938-39 will be larger than a year earlier in both the winter and the
Slaughter supplies of hogs during the remainder of the present
marketing year, up to October 1, will be larger than those of a year earlier,
but this increase will be about offset by the reduction in storage stocks of
pork and lard. Although marketing in the remainder of the summer will be
larger than those of a year earlier, they probably will be seasonally smaller
than in the late spring and early summer. Some further rise in hog prices
may occur this summer, as marketing are seasonally reduced, but prices
are not likely to reach the high level of last summer.
The fairly large seasonal increase in hog marketing expected from late
summer to early winter may be relatively less than that wiich occurred from
August through January last year when consumer and storage demand for hog
products weakened considerably. Demand conditions this fall and winter
probably will be much more stable, with some tendency for inpr;v rent.
Consequently, it is probable that the seasonaldocline in hog prices from late
surmcor to early winter will be loss than the sharp drop which occurred in
that period last year.
The upswing in hog production this year is primarily a reflection of
the abundant supplies of feed in most areas and the fact that corn prices
have been low in relation to hog prices in the past 8 or 9 months. The
larger pig crops this year, however, represent only a partial recovery from
the effects of the severe droughts in 1934 and 1936. If feed crop production
this year is as largo as now soenis likely, it is probable that there will be
a further increase in the number of pigs raised in 1939.
REVIEW OF FRC.liT DVZLOuPMENTS
BACKGROUID.- Thus far in the present marketing year, which
ends September 30, the total live weight of hogs marketed
has been about the same as that of a year earlier. Although
the number of hogs markctcd has been somewhat smaller, avecr-.-
weights have boon heavier. Hog prices in the first 3 quarters
of the current year (October through June) averaged considerably
lower than in the sane period last year, r~flocting the less
favorable consumer demnr.d for cmats than in 1936-37. After
advancing last sui:molr to the highest level in nearly a decade,
hog prices declined sharply from nid.-August to mid-I:. c'rbr,
as a result of a lar.- scascnal increase in rarketings, and
weakness in consunor and stor. demand for h.- .rc.:tcts.
Prices advanced nodcratoly fror. late January to early March
and then declined until about r.iid-lay.
Hog prices steady in June
After advancing in the last half of 7.,' prices of hogs were steady
during June, and rose again in early July. ior the first week of July the
average priceof butcher hogs at Chicago was about $9.25, about $1.35 higher
than the average for the second :.eek of May, before the advance began.
The rise in the average price of all hogs sold at Chicago during this period,
however,was only about one-half as much as the advance in the price of
butcher hogs, since the proportion of packing sows' in the market supplies
has increased seasonally in recent weeks.
June slaughter much larger than year earlier
Insp .ctcd hog slaughger in June, totaling 2,533,000 head, was
slightly smaller than that of May but about 20 percent larger than in
June last year. In the first 9 months (Octobnr through June) of the current
marketing year inspected slaughter amounted to about 27.2 million head
compared with 28.9 in the corrcspcr dln-d period last year. The following
table gives comparisons of nurzbers, weights and prices of hogs slaughtered
under Federal inspection for several marketing years.
Number, weight and average price of hogs slaughtered under Federal
inspection, October through June, Pvorage 192)-30 to 1933-34,
annual, 1934-35 to 1937-38
Item : Unit to :1934-35 : 193
Number .......: sands : 36,369 25,847 23 ,
weight ........:Pounds : 227.8 218.5 230
weight ........:Mil.lb.: 8,284 5,648 5,
Average price...:Dollars: 5.71
Total cost .....:Mil.dol:
673 28,878 27,188
444 6,321 6,246
473 430 532
uly 1 storage stocks small
Storage holdings of pork were reduced seasonally during June, and on
July 1 they totaled 417 million pounds, thu smallest on that date in the 23
years of record.' Stocks of lard showed very little seasonal increase during
June, and the July 1 lard stocks were much smaller than those of a year
earlier. The combined storage holdings of pork ani lard ,n July 1 were
smaller than those of a year earlier by about 220 million pounds. This
quantity is roughly equivalent to-J-i products obtainable from about
1,350,000 ioL of average market eight. The reduction in stor:.g~ stocks
probably will -bout offset the expected increase in slaugher supplies of
hogs from July through September over a year earlier.
Stor'r.o holdings of pork and lard on the first of the month,
S5-year average 1937-3
: 199-0 to 1'33-34 19-7 1937-j3
Month : : :
Pork L.rd Pork Lard Pork Lard
I Mil.lb. IM!.. il. b. i b. Mil.lb. Mil.lb. Mil.lb.
Oct. ........: 50 109 362 102 283 73
Jan. ..........: 565 72 667 146 399 54
Apr. ..........: 731 105 756 217 544 121
Juno .........: 722 126 664 194 451 124
July .........: 713 150 578 185 _1/417 1/126
At the beginning of th prcse.t m1'x1.~ th yc"r last October, storage
stocks of -'orl and lard orce relatively small. Storage dc.aand for hog
products in the late fall -aid winter was relatively weak, -nd the
accumulations of hog products in storr.c from -October through April represented
an unusually small proportion of tho total drowsed .:i -:.t Cf hog zlu.,htcr
during that p riod. This as in marked contrast to tii r;Iatively strong
storage dernman a .n the lc.r accumulation of storago stocks in the winter
season of the pr-ccli:." year. The sm-l accumulation of storage stocks
duriaC the past winter has boun an important factor in the strength shown
in hog prices in recent weeks, as the supply of hog products available for
consumption in thu summer season consists artly of Vroducts from current
hog marketinCgs and partly from products placed in stor: dulr. the winter
and z ri -. Thus, while hog slaughter in May and J.ir- this year as
considerably larger than a year earlier, th. not-out-of-storage movn.tLt
in these months was smaller.
Exports of pork and lard increase materially in 1937-38
In each month thus far in the current hog marketing year, exports of
both pork and lard exceeded experts in the corresponding month of 1936-37.
For the period October through May, total pork exports amounting to about
58 million pounds, were nearly 18 million pounds large than those of a
year earlier. In the same period of 1937-38 lard exports totaled about
148 million pounds and were the largest for the period since 1933-34. Most
of the increase in lard exports over a year earlier was accounted for by
the increase in shipments to Great Britain and Cuba, the former country taking
50 million pounds more than in 1936-37; exports to Cuba were about 10 million
Exports of pork and lard, imports of pork, and dressed weight
of federally inspected hog slaughter, October to May,
average 1929-30 to 1933-34, annual, 1934-35 to 1937-38
Item : 1929-30 :1934-35 :1935-36 :1936-37 :1937-38
_. :to 193l-34: :-
SMil.l. Mil.Ib. Mil. lb. Mil.lb, Mil. b.
Pork exports ............: 121 76 42 40 58
Lard exports ...... ......: 435 125 68 72 148
Pork imports .........: 3 3 17 44 40
Dressed weight of
slaughter ................. 5378 3,833 3,606 4,305 4,241
Lard production ........: 1,115 619 576 660 699
Imports ofpork reduced in 1938
Pork imports have been reduced fairly sharply since last fall, and in
every month since November they have been smaller than in the corresponding
month a year earlier. In 1937 nearly 75 million pounds of pork were imported,
compared with 42 million pounds in 1936 and only 10 million pounds in 1935.
In thd first 5 months of 1938 pork imports totaled about 24 million pounds
compared with about 31 million pounds in the same months last 'year.
Although imports of pork in the past 3 years have been much larger than in
earlier years, they still rcpr'sent only a very small proportion of the
total supply available in this country. The bulk of such imports in the past
2 years has been canned hams, largely from Poland, and 'to a minor extent
from other EuroF-pean countries.
The increase in exports of pork and lard and the decrease in imports
of pork in the past 6 or 8 months probably reflects largely the greater
decline in prices of hogs and hog products in the United States than in
With prospects of larger supplies of hogs in the United States in the
coming marketing year, it is expected that exports of pork and lard will
tend to increase and that imports will continue to decrease. The European
demand for American hog products in the coming year may be strengthened
somewhat as result of prospective reduction in hog sliulihtur in several
European countries. The trade in hogs and hog products between. surplus and
deficit countries of Europe may be restricted to some extent by the.
prevalence of an unusually severe epodomic of foot-and-mouth disease in
Europe. It is probable, however, that quota restrictions and foreign
exchange difficulties in some countries will continue to be the limiting
factors to increased exports of hog products to European countries.
1938_spring_ igcrop_ 13 _orcnt larger than that of 1937
According to the June 1 Pig Crop Report recently released by this
Bureau, the spring crop this year was estimated to be 13 percent larger
than that of last year. In the North Central States (Corn Belt) the increase
over last year was 14 percent. The increase in the Western Corn Belt, where
hog production has bden most sharply curtailed in recent years because of
droughts, was 17 percent. For the country as a whole, the spring pig
crop this year was the largest in 5 years (since 1933), although it was much
smaller than in any of the 10 years preceding 1934.
Spring pig crop in the United States and North Central States,
North Central Statos Other United
Year -- States States
: East West Total
: Thou- Thou- Thou- Thou- Thou-
: sands sands sands sands sands
1932.........: 12,237 27,470 39,707 11,3r2 51,031
1933...........: 13,475 28,462 41,937 11,523 53,460
1934..........: 10,202 20,206 30,408 9,290 39,69?
1935........... .. ,3.0 14,597 :,477 8,961
1936..........: 10,497 19,899 30,396 10,83 41,~ 4
1937..........: 10,621 16,669 27,490 10.934 :.42-
1938............ 11,773 19,664 31,437 11,947 43,354
The number of sows to farrow in the fall season of 1938 (June 1 to
December 1) is indicated to be 9 percent larger than the number farrowed
last fall. In the Corn Bolt the indicated increase in fall farrowings
over last year is 11 percent. These indications of fall farrowings are based
upon interpretation of breeding intentions reported by farmers about June 1,
If the number of sows farrowed this fall proves to be about as indicated and
if the average number of pigs saved per litter is about the same as last
fall, the 1938'pig crop spring and fall crops combined will total about
69 million head, which is about 7 million head or 12 percent larger than
that of 19370
Sows farrowed in the fall season, 1936-38
North Central States Other United
Year States States
:East : West :Total
:Thou- Thou- Thou- Thou- Thou-
:sands sands sands sands sands
1936...........: 1,178 1,062 2,240 1,617 3,857
1937...........: 1,098 1,092 2,190 1,563 3,753
1938 1/ .....: 1,205 1,218 2,423. *1,679 4,102
l/ Number indicated to farrow based upon breeding intentions
reported about June 1.
The rather marked upswing in hog production this year reflects the
present low level of production in many areas in conjunction with
abundant supplies of feed, and the rather high hog prices of the past 8 or
9 months in relation to corn prices. The hog-corn price ratio since last
September has been much above average and nearly twice as high as that of
a year earlier. If crop conditions this year continue favorable, the
indicated 9 percent increase in the number of sows to farrow this fall
probably will be fully realized. If the hog-corn price ratio continues near
present levels in the next few months and another good crop of corn is
harvested this year, a further sharp increase in hog production in 1939 is
to be expected.
The June Pig Crop Report also indicated that the number of hogs over
6 months old on farms June 1 in the entire country was but little different
from that of a year earlier. In the Corn Belt there was an increase of
about 2 percent,but this was about offset by decreases in other regions.
With an increase of 349,000 head in the indicated number of sows to farrow
this fall, the number of other hogs over 6 months old in the United States
on June 1 was about 2 percent smaller than a year earlier.
Larger hog markctirgs than yoar earlier probable for July September
The number of hogs on farms over 6 months old, excluding sows bred
for fall farrow, usually represents a large proportion of the number that
will be available for market in the next 3 or 4 months. Last year, because
of the shortage and high prices of .fcdi during the summer months, a
relatively large number of the hogs over 6 months old on farms Juno 1 were
hold for finishing on new crop grains and w ere marketed after October 1.
This year with feed supplies much more plentiful and prices of feed much
lower, it is expected that the hogs on farms over 6 months old on June 1,
excluding sows bred for fall farrow, will be marketed largely by the end of
September. The market movement of spring pigs before October 1 also
may be larger than that of a year earlier. Hence, it seems probable that
hog marketing in the next 3 months will be larger than the small marketing
in that period last year..' Marketings in those 3 months, however, arc
expected to be smaller than in April, May and Juno of this year.
SOn the basis of present indications it appears probable that
inspected hog slaughter for the percent marketing year -nding Scp-.t.iber 30,
will total bctucon 33 and 34 million head compared with slightly more than
34 million last year. In the annual hog outlook given in the November
1937 issue of this.report it was stated that inspected hog slaughter for
the present marketing year probably would be betwioen 32 and 33'million head.
In the January and subsequent issues of the Hog Situation report it was
stated that slaughter for the yc-r might be as l1.reo as 34 million head.
Lar.r.rr :t i -.: cpct.: ir. 1738-39
With the spring pig crop considerably l-.rc:.r than that of last year
and indications that the fall pig crop also will be larger, it is expected
that market supplies of hogs in the marketing year, bgcinnini in COctr.b.:r
1938, will be materially larger than in the present marl:Ltil., year. The
spri..- pig crop is normally marketed mostly in the fall and -cintcr months,
hence marketing in the periodfrom October through April probably will be
considerably lir:.r than in the corresp-nding :-.onths of 1937-J5. Since the
outturn of corn and other feed crops will have an important b.earinr on
both the size of the fall pig crop, and the seasonal changes in marketing
more definite indications of total markotings of hogs in 1938-39 and of
the seasonal chanZes within the year will be given in subsequent issues
of this report, after the end of crop gro 'i;-- season.
A fairly l-a- seasonal increase in hog rrrketings in the c.. in fall
and early winter ra. ;:.rs probable in vivew of larger syrin-g pig cro.: this
year than lIst. The '.rrc.nt::io increase in hc. slaughter from .u.-uot
thrcu;': January, how*evcr, may be no .-rL-:r and p..rhaps will be s:.iallor than
the increase in the sran period last year. The increase in supplies after
late surm-icr Irobably will be from a higher level than last year, but they
probably will reach a lovel as high as, or hi --.r than, in Deco:..ber and
In a number of years when feed supplies have boon abundant and the
hog-corn price ratio relatively high, as they have been in the present year,
there has been a tendency to delay marketing by feeding to heavy weights,
As a result, narkotings in the first quarter (October December) of the
year usually have boon a relatively snall proportion of the yearly total.
Also in some of those years, market supplies in the second quarter of the
marketing year have exceeded supplies in the first quarter, whereas in most
other years they are bout the same. Despite the fact that the hog-corn
price ratio has been high and feed supplies plentiful in the current year,
marketings-in the first quarter probably represented about an average or
below average proportion of the yearly total, and they were no larger in
the second quarter. The fact that supplies in the first quarter were
larger than otherwise would have been expected nay have been duo partly
to the fact that a fairly largo number of hogs marketod in that period
ordinarily would have been marketed in the preceding marketing year.
The unusually marked price discrimination against heavy hogs last fall and
winter also may have boon a contributing factor.
In the coning marketing year, which begins October 1, it is not
expected that narketings in the first quarter will include many hogs which
would normally be marketed in the prcccdinC marketing year as was the case.
in the first quarter of 1937-38. Hence, if the hog-corn price ratio
continues relatively high, as now appears probable, it nay be that narketings
in the second quarter of 1938-39 (January March) will be somewhat larger
than in the first quarter.
Prospects for hog prices in 1938-39
The level of hog prices in 1938-39 will depend partly upon market
supplies and partly upon the level of consumer demand for meats. As
already indicated hog marketing in the 1938-39 marketing year will be
materially larger than in the present year, It is probable, however, that
consumer demand for meats will average stronger than in 1937-38, but in the
early months of 1938-39 it may be weaker than a year earlier and improve
as the year progresses. Storage and export demand for hog products
next winter may be better than a year earlier. Whether demand will improve
sufficiently to offset the effect on prices of the increase in supplies
cannot now be indicated. It is possible, however, that the average price of
hogs in 1938-39 will not be much lower than in 1937-38, and unless a
substantial improvement in consumer demaid occurs, hog prices in 1938-39
will average considerably lower than in 1937-38.
The domestic demand for hog products weakened considerably after the
late summer of last year. This was a reflection of sharp drop in consumer
incomes. From August through May incomes of industrial workers were
reduced about 30 percent. At the present time there are some indications
of recovery in industrial activity, employment and payrolls. A marked
improvement in consumer demand for hog products, however, may not occur
until after the beginning of 1939.
Hog prices have advanced moderately since early May. In mid-July
the weekly average price of hogs at Chicago was about $8.75. Some further
moderate rise in prices may occur in the next few weeks, but there is
little likelihood that hog prices this summer will reach as high a level
as a year earlier. With a fairly large seasonal increase in hog marketing
in prospect for the fall and early winter months, hog prices are expected
to decline during this period. The drop in prices after August this year,
however, may be from a considerably lower level than was the decline which
occurred from mid-August to mid-Decouber last year, when the weekly
average at Chicago dropped from about $12.40 to slightly less than $8.
The proppoctive strengthening in demand conditions in the last half of
1938 may tend to offset in part the effects on prices of the seasonal
increase in market supplies. In the last half cf 1937 a largo seasonal
increase in hog marketing was accompanied by considerable weakness in
consumer and storage dcnand for hog products. Consequently, it appears
probable that the seasonal decline in hog prices from the high point of
this summer will be relatively loss than the drop in prices that occurred
in the late summer and fall last year.
Prices of hogs and hog products, specified periods
SOct.- Sept. :Oct.-June
S :Juno : jay :June :Average:
Item : Unit :1937 :1938 i1938 :1923-29:1935-:1936-: 1936-1937-
: to :36 : 37 37 : 38
: : :1132-33:
Average price: :per 100:
Seven markets ........:pounds :10.84
Chicago ..............: do. :11.04
U. S. average price
received by farmers...: do. :9.97
Prices of hog products,:
Loins, 8-10 lb. .. do. :21.40
No.1 10-12 lb. ...: do. :25.42
dry cured,.6-8 lb. do. :28.45
H. W. tubs ........: do. :13.25
Average price of No.3 : Cents
Yellow corn,Chicago :per lb.: 122
Hog-corn price ratio: 2/
Chicago ..........:Bushel : 9.0
North Central States: do. : 9.1
Proportion of packing
sows in total packer
and shipper purchases,;
seven markets 3/.....:Pcrcent:25.0
Average weight at seven:
markets ..............: Pound : 249
9.64 10.28 9.93 8.37
9.90 10.49 10.13 8.56
9.66 9.24 8.05
17.07 21.21 22.29 20.36 18.84
20.31 26.58 24.65 23.69 23.57
23.71 30.86 28.58 27.38 27.74
13.13 13.10 10.13
58 57 62 74 115 117
ll.S 14.1 9.2 8.7 14.7
12.9 15.8 9.5 8.9 17.4
16.0 15.0 8.0 7.7
1/ 241 231 223
1/ Not available.
2/ Number of bushels of corn equivalent in value
/ Monthly figures computed front weekly averages.
to 100 pounds of live hogs.
Supplies of hogs and hog products, specified periods
: Unit :1937 :1938
S Oct.-Sopt. : Oct.-May
: May :Average:
:1938 :1928-29: 1935-:1936- :1936- :1937-
S : to :36 : 37 :37 38
Number : Thou-
slaughtered 1/ : sands :2,099
Avorago.......: Pound : 221
Average ...;...: Pound : 166
46,363 31,022 34,142 26,767 24,655
235 231 232 221
608 10,723 7,191 7,538
178 175 175 164
459 8,069 5,402 5,586
Yield of lard per:
100 pounds live :
weight of hogs : Pound
lard' 2/......: do.
Lard ........ do.
10.9 11.4 12.4
51 75 81 1,630' 870 833 660 741
452 482 7,171 5,124 5,601
59 59 961 712 756
Lard ............ do.
Imports of '.:-rk 3/: do. : 6
Proportion of sows :
slaughter A/....:Percent: 51.5
6 32 72 44 40
i/ Bureau of Animal Industry.
2/ Represents apparent disappearance of
3/ United States Department of Commerce.
and fresh, canned, and pickled pork.
1/ Includes gilts.
federally inspected .ork plus iir.rcn.! r-.
Pork includes bici.r-, hams and shoulders,
Lard includes neutral lard.
I, D j O 0 .)
p 0c m
Sr o c\J 0
i.iJvER iT c: FLORIDA
3 1262 08861 7419
3 1262 08861 7419
___ __ _
0 0 0
0 i I-
,- GO CO
-0 0 -C I
o7 g ;
C#) a cc
I (0 b