The hog situation


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The hog situation
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32 no. : ; 28 cm.
United States -- Bureau of Agricultural Economics
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Agricultural Economics
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Swine -- Marketing -- Statistics -- Periodicals -- United States   ( lcsh )
serial   ( sobekcm )
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
statistics   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )


Statement of Responsibility:
United States Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Agricultural Economics.
Dates or Sequential Designation:
HS-1 (Nov. 1936)-HS-32 (June 1939).
General Note:
Title from caption.

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 04752171
lcc - HD9435.U5 A25
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Related Items

Preceded by:
World hog and pork prospects
Succeeded by:
Beef cattle situation
Succeeded by:
Sheep and lamb situation
Succeeded by:
Livestock situation

Full Text

Bureau of Agricultur:'l Economics

HS-22 August 18, 1938


.T- IT, Sulimary

The Bureau of Agricultural Economics reports little change in

the hog outlook during the past month. As indicated in the July issue

of the Hog Situation, sirp:lies for market in the 1938-39 marketing year,

which begins in October, will be considerably larger than those of present

marketing year. But the effects of these lar er supplies upon hog prices

wfll be offset, at least in part, by improvement in consumer demand for


The seasonal increase in hog marketing from late summer to early

winter probably will be fairly largo, but it may be relatively less than

that which occurred from August through January last year, when there was

a marked weakness in consumer and storage demand for hog products. Demand

for hog products this fall and winter probably will improve from present

levels. Consequently, it is expected that the seasonal decline in hog

prices during the next few months will be much less than the sharp drop in

prices which occurred from September through December last year.


Hog prices in mid-July reached the hLihest level since last

October but then declined, with a fairly sharp break during the second

week of August. Slaui;,hter supplies of hoes in July were much larger than

a year earlier but slightly smaller than in Juno. Market receipts of hogs

increased moderately in early August, and it is reported that in recent

weeks supplies have included a relatively large number of late winter and

early spring pigs. Apparently the market movement of spring pigs this

year is getting under way somewhat earlier than usual.

Farm Income Froi Hogs

A report on "Farm Income from Hogs,

calendar years 1909-37" recently was released

by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics. This

is one of a series of commodity inco.. reports.

Estimates of income from hogs, by States, are

given for the years, 1924-37. Copies of this

report are available upon request to the




BACKGfROUND. Thus far in the present marketing year,
which cn-ls, Sqptorbor 30, the total live weight of hogs
markotcd has boon about the sai.c as that of a year
earlier. Although. the number of hogs marketed has
boon somewhat smaller, average weights have boon heavier.
Hog richess in the first 3 quarters of the current year
(October thrcurh Juno) averaged considerably lower
than in the sane period last year, reflecting the loss
favorable consumer d..r:.:-id for nc'.ts than in 1936-37.
After advancing last su..-icr tc the highest level in
nearly a decade, prices declined sharply from nid-
August to mid-Docor..bcr, as a result of a largo seasonal
increase in marketingsf and weakness in consu.,r and
storage douand for hog products. Prices advanced
moderately fro:r. late January to early March and then
declined until about mid-May. Hog prices rose during
the last half of May end wore steady during Juno.

Hog prices in mid-July highest since October 1937

Prices of hogs rose moderately in the first half of July, but
wekoneod so-mewhat near the end of that mnnth and broke fairly sharply in
early August, In nid-July the weekly average price of butcher hoCs at
Chicago of about $9.65 was the highest since late October 1937. The
weekly average price of all ho,.s sold at Chicago in nid-July, however,
was lower than in early March chiefly because of the much lareor number
of packing sows in the market receipts in July than in March. During June
and nost of July the spread between prices of butcher hogs and prices of sows
widened materially as it usually does in the surm::r when the proportion
of sows in the rnarketings is the largest for the year. But by early
.'.uust this spread had been reduced somewhat.

The drop in hog prices since '.id-July probably reflects the weakened
dc, c.nd. for pork occasioned by the relatively high to:.poraturos prevailing
over most of the country in late July and early August, and by the noderato
but contra-seasonal increase in receipts of hogs at the leading rarkots
in the past 2 or 3 weeks.

Jul _hog slaughter much larger than a year earlier

Hog markotings in July were seasonally smaller than in June, but
inspected slaughter of ho'sfs totaling 2,254,000 head, was about 600,000
head larger than in July last year. Marketings of p-..ckirn sows increased
seasonally during the month, but the proportion of the total market supplies
represented by sows was smaller than a year earlier. Despite the smaller
proportion of sows in the market receipts' compared with July last year,
the nunbor of sows marketed in the past 'Uonth.waq larger than a year
earlier because of nuch larger total matketings.


Market reports indicate that a considerable number of pigs farrowed
in the late winter and early spring have been marketed in recent weeks.
Many of such pigs have been marketed at desirable market weights and finish.
Such a movement of pigs is rather early, and it indicates that the market
movement of spring pigs is getting under way somewhat earlier than usual.

Hog-corn _rice continues favorable for hog feeders

Corn prices strengthened somewhat in the first half of July, but
declined'sharply in early August. The drop in corn prices, however, was
accompanied by a decline in hog prices, with the result that hog-corn price
ratio chs.n ei very little. Based on Chicago prices, the ratio for July
was about 14,7 compared with 9.8 in July last year and the long time average
of 11.4.

August 1 storage stocks of ork and lard roar record low levels

Storage stocks of pork vre reduced seasonally in July, and lard
stocks also were reduced during the month. Stocks of pork on August 1,
totaling 379 million pounds, were the second smallest for that date in
the 23 years of record and 88 million pounds smaller than on August 1 last
year. Storage holdings of lard on Al.uiust 1 amounted to ebout 124 million
pounds and cwre 33 million pounds less than those of a year earlier.
With hog slaughter in August and September likely to be considerably
larger than a year earlier, storage holdings may not be reduced as much in
those months as they wore last year. Hence, at the beginning of the new
hog marketing year on October 1 the total quantities of pork and lard in
storage probably vill be near record low levels; but these stocks may be
little, if any, smaller than on October 1 last year. The increase in
available supplies of hog products in the coming fall and winter over a
year earlier, therefore, will be derived from the increase in hog
El:.u hter in that period.

Storage of pork and lard on the first of
the month, specified months

: 5-ycar average:
: 1929-30 to : 1936-37 : 1937-38
Month 1933-34 :
: Pork: Lard: Pork : Lard : Pork : Lard
:--il-.b. I.Ilb. :,:illb.

Oct. .......: 530 109 362 102 283 73
Jan. ......: 565 72 667 146 399 54
Apr. .......: 731 105 756 217 544 121
July .......: 713 150 578 105 410 126
AUC. ......: 692 158 467 157 / 7 1/124

1/ Preliminary.


Exports of pork and lard continue larger than year earlier

In every month thus far in t he present hog marketing year, which
began last October, exports of both pork and lard have boon larger than
in the corresponding rmoth a year earlier. Pork exports in Juno,
totaling 8.5 million pounds, were about 65 percent larger than a year
earlier, and lard exports of 17.2 million pounds wore nearly double
those of June last year. Imports of pork, on the other hand, have been
substantially reduced thus far in the present year. In June imports of
pork totaled 4.8 million pounds, or about 2.8 million less than in June
last year.

With prospects for larger supplies of hogs in the coming marketing
year, it is expected that exports of pork and lard will increase somewhat
and that imports of pork will continue to decrcaos. The European demand
for American hog products in the c'Llin: year nay be strengthened somewhat
as a result of the prospective reduction in hog slaughter in s cvoral
European countries.


The prospects for supplies and prices of hogs for the coming
marketing year have not changed much during the pnast month. The following
statement, therefore, is largely a summary of the hoG outlook statement
given in the July issue of "The Hog Situation.n

Larger marketing expected in 1938-39

With the spring pig crop considerably larger than that of last year
and indications that the fall pig crop also will be larogr, it is expected
that market supplies of hogs in the marketing year beginning in October
will be materially larger than in the present marketing year. The spring
pig crop is normally marketed nostl; in the fall and winter months, hence
marketings in the period from October through April will be considerably
larger than in the corrospoir.'dinC : months of 1937-38.

Prospects for hog prices in 1938-39

The level of hog prices in 1938-39 will depend partly on market
supplies and partly upon the level of consumer dcnand for meats. As already
indicated hog marketing in the 1938-39 i.arLcting ye.r will be materially
larger than in the present year. It is irc-oi.bi1, however, that the consumer
demand for neats will average stronger than in 137-38- buti in the early
months of it?3-39 it r;ay be weaker than a year cc. lior n J:.- rovo as the
year progroean,. S3-orage and export donand for ho; pr un'. next
winter rnmy lo bettCr than a year earlier. The effect on 1og0 prices of
the increase in supplies will be offset, at least in part, by the
improvement in demand conditions. But unless the improvenont in consumer
demand is greater than now expected, hog prices in 1938-39 will average
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 the sharp drop in
consumer income. From August 1937 throu:,-r May 1938, incomes of industrial
workers were reduced about 30 percel.t. At the present time there are
indications of recovery in industrial activity,employment and pay rolls. A
marked improvement in the consumer demand for hog products, however, may
not occur until after the beginning of 1939. The demand for lard in 1938-39
may be somewhat better than in 1937-33, since total supplies of cottonseed
oil for the coming year probably will be somewhat smaller than for the
present year.

Seasonal changes in prices and mark-tinr-

It was indicated in thckJuly issue, and in earlier issues, of this
report that the seasonal distribution of slaughter surpplies of hogs in
the 1937-38 marketing year, which began last October, had boon rather
unusual in view of existing conditions of food supplies and prices. The
significance of the diifercnces in the seasonal distribution of marketing
from year to year is that they affect tho changes in h": marketings from
month to month and are a rather important factor affectingg the changes in
hog prices within the year.

In most years when food supplies ar. abundant and the hog-corn
price ratio high, marketing in the first quarter (October-Decembor)
usually have boon a relatively small proportion of the marketing year total.
In some of these years, also, market supplies in the second quarter
exceeded supplies in the first quarter, whereas in most years they are
about the same. Despite the fact the hog-corn price ratios have boon high
and feed supplies have been plentiful in the past year, market supplies
of hogs in the first quarter probably represented about an average
percentage of the yearly total and they were no smaller than in the
second quarter (January-March).

There are at least two reasons for the seasonal distribution of hog-
marketings in 1937-38 brin:, different from that of other years when f cod
conditions were similar. Duri..- the suriumr of 1937 when food supplies
were very short a large number of hogs, mostly 1936 fall pis, wore hold
over for finishing on new crop grains and were mn.rkoted after October 1,1937.
!Jni!r moro normal conditions most of those hc voculd have boon marketed
before October 1 uad would have boon included in the slaughter for the
last quarter of 1936-37 rather than in the first quarter of 1937-33. Another
reason may have been the unusually r.:nrkcd price discrimination Caginst
heavy h:.-z; last fall. This nay have caused farmers to vuarket h.:gs when
they reached desirable nmarkot ;*ei hts instead of delayiniig arh-tin.:s in
order to feed to hc vy weights as they 1ha've done in the past when the
hog-corn price ratio was high. T.I.: it sicus prcbablr that hog markotincs
in the first quarter of 1937-j- woreo increased by the r:.rketing of l-rgec
numbers of hogs that normally would have boon r.rkctcd in the sunror of
1937 and by: the fact ti-.t. spring pi. wore finished for m rket more rapidly
than in other years when conditions :C feed s-:: lics and food prices
wero similar,


In the coming 'marketing year beginning October 1, 1938, feed supplies
again will be plentiful and the hog-corn price ratio high. The hold-over
of old crop hogs for market after October 1, however, will be relatively
small this year and much smaller than last year. Apparently old crop hogs
are now being marketed fairly closely and a rather early market movement
of spring pigs seems to be getting under way. It is possible that many
farmers, remembering the severe price decline from September through
December last year, are marketing spring pigs as early as possible.
Consequently, a fairly lurGo number of hogs that under-ordinary conditions
would be inarketed after OctobrI 1 will be marketed before that date this
year. This may tend to cause T.ho proportion that marketing in the first
quarter of the year are of th" 1938-39 yearly total to be relatively small.
It is also possible that marketing in the second quarter (January-March)
of 1930-39 will be larger than in the first quarter. These developments
may cause the seasonal increase in hog marketing this fall to be somewhat
smaller than in the fall of 1937 when it 'was large. Novert'heless, a
considerable increase in market supplies of hogs probably will occur in
the coming fall months, mad this increase probably will be accompanied
by a seasonal weakness in hog prices. With prospects'for consumer and
storage demand' ore favorable than for last fall and winter, it is
expected that the drop in prices will be much less than that which occurred
from September through December last year.

Further increase in hog production in 1939 oxpectoed *

It was stated in the July issue of this report that the number of
pigs raised in 1938 probably'would be about 12 percent larger than the
number raised in 1937. The spring pig crop this year was the largest in
5 years (since 1933) although it was smaller than in any of the 10 years
preceding 1934. 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
9 or 10 months in relation to corn prices. The hog-c:rnm~ price ratio since
last September has been much above average nearly twice as high as that
of a year earlier.

On the basis of conditions prevailing about August 1, it was
indicated in the August crop report that corn production this year would
be about 2,566 million bushels. This is slightly smaller than the crop
harvested last year but is above average. The carry-over of old corn
will be relatively large, and total supplies of corn and other feed grains
for 1937-38 probably will be larger than a year earlier. It is expected,
therefore, that the hog-corn price ratio in the coming year will be about
as high as it has been in the present year. In view of the large feed
supplies and the probable high hog-corn price ratio a further sharp
increase in hog production in 1939 seems probr.Io.



Prices of hogs and hog products, specified periods



Average price: :per 100:
Seven markets ........:pounds :11.37
Chicago ..............: do. :11.57

U. S. average price
received by farmers...:

Prices of hog products,:
Loins, 8-10 lb. .....
Hams, smoked, reg.
No.1. 10-12 lb. ....:
Bacon, smoked,No.l,
dry cured, 6-8 lb. .:
H. W. tubs .........:

do. :10.70

do. :28.66

O: ct.-Sept. : _-Oct.-July__
:July : June:July :Ave-rage:
:1937 : 1938:1938 :1928-29:1935-:1936-:1936-:1937-
S: to : 36 : 37 : 37 : 38
:1932-33: :

8.40 8.56
8.52 8.60

8,00 8.56

20.64 23.40

do. :26.78 23.25 23.62

do. :29.91

25.55 26.25

do. :13.62 9.38 9.68

1/ 9.64
6.59 9.90

10.28 10,07
10.49 10.27


6.1..8 9.15 9.66 9.39 8.09

17.07 21.21 22.29 21.19 19.29

20.31 26.58 24.65 24.00 23.58

23.71 30.86 28.58 27.64 27.32

9.68 12.65 13.13 13.15 10.09

Average price of No. 3 : Cents :
yellow corn,Chicago.*.:per lb.: 118

Hog-corn price ratio:2/:
Chicago ...........:Bushel :9.8
North Central States: do. :9.5

57 59 62 74 115 117 58



11 .

14.1 9.2 8.8 14.7
15.8 9.5 9.0 17.5

Proportion of packing
sows in total ipcker :
and shipper purchases,:
seven markets '2/.....:Perccnt;

Ave.rage weight at
seven markets ........: Pound : 261

40.0 22.0 33.0

265 272

1/ 16.0 15.0

1/ 241 231

11.0 10,0

227 245

1, ;.ot available.
2/ Nu;..bor of bushels of corn equivalent in value to 100 pounds of live hogs.
S:.r;'nthly figures co-..:utod from weekly averages.


Supplies of hogs and hog products, specified periods

SOct. Sept. : Oct.-Juno
: : : : :Avorage:
: :June : May : Juno:1928-29:1935- :1936- :1936- :1937-
Item : Unit :1937 :1938 : 1938: to : 36 : 37 : 37 : 38
:1932-33: : : :

Hog slaughter under
Federal inspection: :
Number slaughtered : Thou-
1/ ................: sands :2,110

Live weight:
Average ..........: Pound : 236 498
Dressed weight:
Average .........: Pound : 175 369

Yield of lard per
100 pounds live
weight of hogs....: Pound
Production of lard
Apparent consumption:
lard 2........: do.
Lard ............ do.

Exports: 3/
Pork .............: do.
Lard ............: do.


2,585 2,533

46,363 31,022 34,142 28,877 27189

235 251 231
608 636 10,723

178 189
459 477

13.4 12.7

52 81 80 1


482 487
59 61

232 221 218 231
7,191 7,538 6,284 6,291

175 175
8,069 5,402

164 162 174
5,586 4,674 4,718

15.2 12.1 10.9 11.3 12.4
,630 870 833 713 779


5 9 8 211





69 59 45 67

10 20 17 657 101 107

82 165

Imports of pork 3/..: do. : 8
Proportion of sows in:
inspected slaughter :
/................ :Porcent: 56.4

4 5

49.6 55.8 51.2

6 32 72 52 45

51.9 51.1 49.8 48.2

1/ Bureau of Animal Industry.
2/ Represents apparent disappearance of federally inspected pork plus unrondered
hog fats.
3/ United States Department of Commerce. Pork includes bacon, hams and shoulders,
and fresh, canned, and pickled pork. Lard includes neutral lard.
/ Includes gilts.

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