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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Subjects / Keywords:
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.

Record Information

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 Agricultural Foonomics

HS-25 Novemb er 17 1938

j ~" ^. #^:--*- *-----**-----------,---- _-|------

L EP--: Surmary

riot much change has occurred in the hog situation since the issuance

of the annual hog outlook report early this month, the Bu'reau of Agricul-

tural Economics reports. A copy of the complete hog outlook report for the

comir.n year is included with this issue.

Hog prices in October an- early November continued to decline season-

ally as a result of increased marketing. Some recovery in prices was made

in late October, but prices declined again in early November. For the week

ended November 12, the average price of hogs at Chicago was $7.70 per 100

pounds, approximately 60 cents lower than in erly October and about $1.30

lower than a year earlier.

Despite declining hog prices, the hog-corn price ratio showed a

rather sharp increase in October and early November as a result of relative-

ly greater declines in corn prices than in hog prices. For the week ended

November 5, the v-".rage price per 100 pounds of hogs at Chicago was equi-

valent in value to 18.2 bushels of No. 3 yellow corn, the highest hog-corn

price ratio since June 1926. As indicated in the outlook report, this

hih hog-corn price ratio reflects tho abundant supplies and low prices

of feeds, and indicates a favorable situation for increased hog production.

Inspected hog slaughter in October, totaling 3,311,000 head, was

24 percent larger than in Septo...bor and 22 percent larger than in October

1937, but was 7 percent smaller than the average slaughter for October in

HS-25 -2-

the 5 years 1929-33. The average weight of hogs slaughtered at seven

markets in October this year was 221. pounds, which was 10 pounds lighter

than a year earlier reflecting an incr-asod proportion of spring pigs

in the market supply. L'ast year, a relatively large number of old hogs

was carried thro wh the summer and marketed durin- the early fall months.

Storage stocks of pork and lard decreased scsonally in October.

Storage holdings of pork on November 1 totaled 251 million pounds, about

6 percent smaller than a year earlier and more than 40 perco~t smaller

than average holdings on November 1 for the 5 years 1729-33. But stocks

of lard on November 1, totaling 66-million pounds, were more than 70 per-

cent larger than the small stocks on November 1 last year, and nearly

eqruall:i the 5-year average stocksfor November 1.

Wholesale prices of both fresh and cured pork declined in October

and early November. Lard prices declined .i.rrin the first 3 weeks of

October, but held steady in late Octcber and early November. In early

November, prices of all hog products were somewhat lower than a month

earlier and considerably lower than a year earlier.


Prices of hogs and hog products, specified periods

Item Unit Oct.

:Dol? ar:
Average price: :per 10,:
Seven markets ........:pounas : 5,81
C'icago ...............: do :10.03

U.S. vY-race price
received by farmers ...: do : 9.78

Prices of hog products,

. 1936




8.07 7.28

:1920-29: 1935-. 1936-: 1937-
Sto 36 37 38
:1932-33: : :

!/ 9.64 10.28 8.33
6.99 9.90 10.49 8.47

6.48 9.15

9.66 8.07

Loins, 8-10 lb. .....: d 2o :21.68
Hams ,smoked,re -.:7i.1
10-12 b. .........: do :25.75
Baconsmoked No. 1,
dry cured, 6-8 lb. do :32.50'
Lard, refined,
H. W. tubs .........: do :12.00

Average price of Ho. 3 :Cents
Yellow corn, Chic .:'- ..:per lb.: 66

Hog-corn price ratio/ :
Chicago ...........:Bushel: 15.2
North Central States : do 19.3

Proportion of : cr: i ::
sows in total packer
and shipper purchases,
seven markets 3/......:Percent: 16.0
Average weight at seven :
markets ............... :Pound :234

22.22 17.75 '17.07 21.21' 22.28

23.75 22.31

25.25 23.62

8.91 8.53

20.31 26.56

23.71 30.86'

9.6-8 12.65



53 45 62 74 115





15.8 17.5 11.6 14.1 9.2 14.8
18.6 19.5 12.9 15.0 9.4 17.6

22.0 11.0

241 224

16.o 15.0 13.0

1/ 241 231


1/ Hot available.
2/ Number of bushels of corn equivalent in value to 100 pounds of live hogs.
3/ '..onthly figures computed from weekly averrzLeL.


Supplies of hogs and hog products, specified periods


Hog slaughter
under Federal
slaughtered 1/

Unit Sept.

:sands :2,033

Live weight:
Average ........:Pound
Dressed weight:
Average .........:Pound
Total ........... I:
Yield of lard
per 100 pounds
live weight of
hogs .............:Pound
Production of
Apparent cons:
Pork, including
lard 2/ : do
Lard .............: do
Exports: 3/
Pork .............: do
Lard ............: do
Imports of pork / : do
Proportion of sows
in inspected
sl ueter / *.......*.:Percent:

i/ Bureau of Animal Industry.




: : Oct.-Sept.
S :Average:
Aug. : Sept.:1928-29:1935- :1936- .1937-
1938 1938 to :36 37 38
S :1932-33: : :

2,467 2,671 46,363

245 228
604 609

132 167
448 444



31,022 34,142 34,580

232 221 234
7,191 7,538 8,089

175 164 175
5,402 5,586 6,046

12.3 12.5 15.2 12.1 10.9 12.4

44 74 76 1,630




2/ Represents ;- .ent disappearance of
hog fats.

486 505
70 83



870 833 1,002

5,124 5,601
712 756





58.6 50.6 51.2 51.9 51.1 49.5

federally i..2: ted pork plus unrendered

3/ United States Department of Cc.nmcrce. Pork includes bacon, ar:1s and shoulders,
and fresh, cann. :, and pickled pork. Lard includes neutral lard.
/ Includes ilts.


-5 -



Slaughter supplies of hogs in the 1958-39 marketing year, which
began October 1, will be materially larger than in 1937-38. Slaughter
during the current year will be larger than in any year since 1933-34,
but it will be approximately 15 percent smaller tran the average of the
10 years prior to the 1934 drought. Average weights of hogs marketed
will continue relatively heavy.

Domestic demand for hcc products, including both consumer and
storage demand, in the current marketing year probably will be more favor-
able than in 1937-38, and the foreign demand for hog products also may be
a little stronger. But the effects of the stronger demand upon hog prices
probably will only partially offset the effects of the larger supplies.
The spread between prices of 11; .t and heavy hogs may be relatively wide
in the coming winter, as it was a year earlier.

The 1938 pig crop spring and fall crops combined is about 12
percent larger than that cf 1937. The upswing in hog production this
year is primarily a reflection of the abundant feed supplies produced in
1937 and the fact that corn prices have been low in relation to hog prices
in the past year. With feed supplies for 1938-39 large in relation to
livestock numbers and the hog-corn prioe ratio continuing high, a further
increase is expected in the number of pigs raised in 1939. The percent-
age increase in the 1939 pig crop over that of 1938 probably will be no
larger and may be smaller than the increase in 1938 over 1937.

The increase in the pig crop next year will be limited to some
extent by the fact that the corn crop is again short in Nebraska, Kansas
and South Dakota. If the corn crop next year is about as large as in
the present year and a good crop is harvested in the Western Corn Belt,
the number of pigs raised in 1940 may increase to the level of the 5
years before the 1934 drought.

Domestic Supplies

The number of hogs slaughtered under Fed-erl inspection in the
present marketing year (October through September 1938-39) is expected
to be considerably larger than in 1937-38. Sluiilt:r during the current
year probably will be largest since 1933-34, but it will be approximately
15 percent smaller than the average of the 10 years prior to the 1934
drought. Average weights of hogs marketed in 1938-39 will continue
heavy, but the average for the entire year probably will be no heavier
than that of 1937-38, which was about 235 pounds.

Larger pig crops in 1938

The increase in slaughter this year will be a reflection of the
larger number of pigs raised in 1938, most of which will be marketed
in the year beginning October 1, 1938. The 1938 spring pig crop was

- 6 -

13 percent larger than that of 1937. In the North Central States (Corn
Belt) the increase over last year was 14 percent. The increase in the
.'- tern Corn Belt, where hog production has been most sharply curtailed
in recent years because of droughts, was 17 percent.

The number of sows to farrow in the fall season of 1938 (June 1 to
December 1) was indicated to be about 9 percent larger than the number
farrowed last fall, on the basis of breeding intentions reported about
June 1. If the number of sows furrowed this fall proves to be about as
indicated and if the average number of pigs saved pFr litter is about the
same as last fall, the 1938 pig crop spring and fall combined will
total about 69 million head, which is about 7 million head or 12 percent
larger than that of 1937.

It is possible, of course, that farmers in some areas have bred
more sews for fall farrow than was indicated by the breeding intentions
reported about June 1. In most areas feed supplies are abundant, and the
hog-corn price ratio has continued very favorable for hcg prod,:tion and
hog feeding. Cn the other hand corn production will again be short in
Nebraska, Kansas, and S uth Dakota. Consequently it seems improbable that
the number of sows to farrow this fall in those States will be as large as
was indicated by the breeding intentions reported in June, when corn
prospects were favorable.

Larger hog slaughter expected in 1938-39

The increase in inspected hog slaughter this year over last probab-
ly will not fully reflect the indicated increase in the 1938 pig crop over
that of 1937. This situation arises partly because of the effects of the
1936 dr'..;'.t and the resulting feed shortage upon marketi. -. of h--,s in
the summer of 1937 and partly because of the relatively large marketing
of 1938 spring pigs in the past summer. As a result, slaughter in 1V37-38
was large in relation to the 1937 pig crop. In thu summer of 1937 a large
number of hogs were carried over for finishing on new crop grains and were
marketed after October 1, 1937. Marketings of 1937 spring, pigs rrior to
October 1 of that yea;r wrre small.

In the past summer the situation has been much different marketirs
of 1938 spring pigs before October 1 were relatively large, and the carry-
over of old hogs into tLe ,r- r.t m-rketing year was small. Thus,sl..u:-!.t;r
in the early months of i'..-7-38 included a large number of --; that ordin-
arily would have been marketed in 1936-37 and the late months included a
considerable number that ordinarily would heva been sl .'terd in 1.- -Ji.

On the basis of present information as to the pig crop and t..;i:.g
into account the early market movement of 1938 spring pigs, it appears
probable that inspected .',- slaughter in 1 w8-39 will total between'." and
38 million head compared with 34.6 million heId in 1937-38.

- 7 -

Annual pig crop and slaughter of hogs under F1 jerl inspection in
corresponding marketing year, average 1924-33,annual 19l4-28

Pig crop :Inspected slaughter as a per-
S: Year :Inspected: -entage of pig crop
Calendar :United : North :beginning:slaughter: United North
year :States : Central Oct. : of hegs : States Central
S: State : : / : : Ct e1
:T!.. 'r J L- ,usands: :Thousands Percent Percent
Average to
1924-33 :77,991 59,370 : 193-34 : 45,362 58.2 76.4

1934 : 56,766 40,470 : 1
1935 : 55,013 38,015 : 1
1936 : 64,917 44,457 : 1
1937 : 61,846 41,441 : 1
1938 : 69,000 47,000 : 1
I7 B,.ireaiii cf ial 1..i zt r~.


: 30,680
: 31,022
: 34,142
: 34,580



Seasonal changes in hog marketirgs

Slaughter supplies of hogs in each of the first 3 quarters of the
present marketing year probably will be larger than in the correspcndrine
period of last year. But unless there is again an early movement of spring
pigs in the late summer of next year, any increase over a year earlier in
the last quarter (July-September 1939) probably will be small and relatively
much less than in the first 3 quarters.

Seasonal changes in marbketines in the first half of the present
year may be somewhat similar to those of last year. A fairly large sea-
sonal increase is now in progress, and it probably will continue through
January. The seasonal decrease in the late winter and early spring pro-
bably will be quite marked and somewhat similar to that of the previous
year. But the increase in marketing in the late spring and early summer
may be greater than the relatively small seasonal increase which occurred
in the corresponding period of 1938.

In most years, when feed supplies have been r1rge and the hog-corn
price ratio favorable the proportion of the yearly total slaughter in the
first quarter (Cctober-December) and in the first half (Cctober-March) of
the year has been relatively small. But the past year, 1937-38, was a
notable exception. Slaughter in the first quarter and in the first half of
last year represented about an average proportion of the total. Slaughter in
the second quarter, was about the same as in the first quarter, whereas in
other years, when the hog-corn ratio has beun favorable, it frequently has
been larger.



- 8 -

From the standpoint of factors affecting the seasonal distribution
of sl'.iughter, the hog situation is now much different from that in ear-
lier years. The proportion of the total United States production outside
the Corn Belt is greater than formerly, and the proportion of the total
Corn Belt production in the Eastern Ccrn Belt is much larger than in the
years prior to 1934. The Eastern Corn Belt is normally an early market-
ing area, while the Western Corn Belt usually is a late marketing area.
The larger proportion of hogs in the Eastern Corn Belt doubtless was a
contributing factor to the relatively large marketing in the early
months of 1937-38. Because of short feed supplies in some areas, market-
ings from the '.:stern Corn Belt also appear to have been somewhat earlier
than usual last winter.

Another factor which may have resulted in relatively large market-
ings in the early months of 1937-38 was the unusually wide spread between
prices of light and heavy hogs. The discount against heavy hb:.- undoubt-
edly tended to discourage some farmers from holding hogs for feeding to
heavy weights.

The fact that a large number of hogs were marketed in the early
months cf 1937-38 that ordinarily would have been marketed in 1936-37
also contributed to the relatively large marketing in the first quarter
of last year. As already indicated, at the beginning of present market-
ing year the carry-over of old hcgs was much smaller than a year earlier,
and marketings of spring pigs in the summer of 1938 (prior to Cctober 1)
was much larger than a year earlier. Consequently, slaughter in the first
quarter of 1938-39 will not be increased much by marketing of old crop hogs.

But from the standpoint of the location of hog supplies, the situa-
tion this year is very similar to that of last year. A relatively lrg.
proportion of the 1938 pig crop is in the Eastern Corn Belt, an early
marketing orn"a, Thlis will be a rather important factor in the seasonal
increase n : rk rins now in progress.

Fr-. c..~ iti- for 1938 spring pigs have been unusually favor-
able. C ..: Li s havw been abu-rdant and pastures f- :.t for gra.-ing
in most a,'c. HOLs have made rapid gains and ar~r reth i.' market wcin.t.
earlier thun usual.

St cr I- Su plies

The storage demand for hog products was r~:,ltirl.y wc.k in the late
fall and winter of l, '-. n:d stor -. Iccuula.tions (" pork and lard were
much smaller than average. This w:s in!-ed cortrr st tc the situation
prevail: in 1936-37, Then store r-; demand v as strong and the a cumulation
Sf stocks duri..c the winter v/as about the on record. At the be-
ginring of the storage sc~son on November 1, 1 7, stocks .f pork and lrd
a:ere relatively small, and the accumulation in stocks from n ovmber thrcui!.
February was about 25 percent less thl n th t of a year eArlier. t-is smal-
ler increase in stocks w s partly the result -f the 'eak stcr c. der'and and
partly the result of the smaller sl'.U. tr in the eurly months -f
the present -r. r ir, -. r. The weak st r'.-e demand last winter .-:.rently

-9 -

resulted from marked weakness in consumer demand and the prospects for
further weakness in this demand later in the year as well as fcr larger
slaughter supplies of hogs in the spring and summer than a yeFr earlier.

Stocks small last spring

At the beginning cf the spring season in March :.nd April stocks of
pork and lard were about 3'0 million pounds, or nearly one-third smaller
than a year earlier. This decrease in stocks compared with a year ear-
lier was equivalent to the products obtainable from approximately 1.9
million head of hogs of ,, rage market weight. Since the supply of hog
products available for ccr._,,ption in the summer consists partly of products
derived from current slh i:hter .nd partly frcm storage stocks, the
increase in slaughter frcrn April through Sptember oerover a-year earlier was
largely offset by thb reduction in storage holdings.

Storage holdings of pork ".nd lard, specified periods

: 5-yr. av rage 1935-6 1975-37 1937-38
Period :1929-30 to L33- 4: :
SPork Lard PerLard Prk ard Pork Lard Pork : Lard
1,000 1, 1,'.., ," i, ':" 1,7 :"
pounds pounds pounds pus ounps pounds pourds pounds pounds

1'cv. 1 :431,192 68,725 240,663 4.0,702 354,950 94,748 266,414 39,477
Jan. 1 :565,206 71,671 326,777 52,718 666,891 145,809 398,565 53,693
Mar. 1 :758,930 102,796 4.51,418 78,725 775,688 .202,476 582,654 116,979
July 1 :71.,460 149,526 435,130 10.6,774 5.78,424 185,124 417,704 126,066
Oct. 1 :515,045 103,960 361,608 10.1,796 282,534 .72,614 277,231 89,946

Better storage demand in prospect for 1938-39

At the beginning of the new marketing year, October 1, 1938 (1938-39)
stocks of pork were slightly smaller than the very smoll stocks of a year
earlier, and stocks of lard were a little larger than these of a year ear-
lier. Although slaughter supplies of hogs in 1938-39 will be considerably
larger than in the preceding year, some improvement in consumer demand for
hog products is probable as the year progresses. Consequently price con-
ditions in the present year may be more stable than in 1937-38. It seems
probable therefore that the demand for hog products for storage may be
somewhat stronger this fall and winter than .a year earlier, when it was
very weak. It is not expected, however, that storage demand this year will
be as strong as in the winter of 1936-37.

Exports and Imports of Hog Products

Exports cf both pork end lard thus for in 1938 h".ve been materially
larger than in 1937, and larger then at any time since 1934. This increase
in exports reflects the increased lard production from the larger hog slaugh-
ter in this country, the large supplies of cottonseed oil from the record1937
cotton crop, and to some extent d'crcascd hog slaughter in Europe.

- 10 -

From 1925 to 1933 exports of both perk and lard were sharply reduced
chiefly because of increased hog production in Europe and the restrictions
placed on imports in several foreign countries. A further marked reduction
in exports occurred in 1934 and 1935 as a result of the short supplies and
relatively high prices of hog products in this country. Exports continued
small in 1936 and 1937, and despite the increase this year, total exports in
1938 will be smaller than in all other post-war years prior to 1934. In the
period 1926-30 the average annual exports of pork were equivalent to the
pork obtainable from about 3 million hogs of average market weight, and in
the same period exports of lard were equal to the lard obtainable from about
22 million hogs. In 1926-30 average number of hogs slaughtered under Federal
inspection was about 45.3 million head. In 1937, exports of pork were equiva-
lent to the pork obtainable frcm less than 1 million hogs and lard exports
were equal to the lard from about 5 million hogs. Inspected hog slmght'r
in 1937 was 31.6 million head.

Exports, imports, and production of pork and lard,
average 1926-30, annual 1931-37

S: :Exports as a :Imports of pork as
SExports / .Imports. Production 3/: percentage :a percentage of
Year of :of production:total domestic
SPork; Lard pork 2/: Pork .Lard Pork : Lard consumption Pot. Pet. Pet.
1926-30 381 759 12.0 8,550 2,299 4.5 33.0 0.15

1931 .j 224 601 4.0 8,734 2,279 2.6 26.4 0.05
1932 .: 175 576 5.7 8,915 2,351 2.0 24.5 0.06
1933 .: 202 612 2.9 9,124 2,446 2.2 25.0 0.03
1934 .: 211 458 1.6 8,342 2,072 2.5 22.1 0.02
1935 .: 136 115 10.5 5,953 1,267 2.3 9.1 0.17
1936 .: 118 137 41.8 7,535 1,673 1.6 8.2 0.59
1937 .: 114 163 74.8 6,98 1,434 1.7 11.4 1.05
I/ U.. *I Cr ': re':. Inl: .dz ipr. nts to noncontiguous territories.
Pork converted to a dressed weight basis.
2/ U.S. Dept. of Comnmrce. Imports for consumption.
7/ Estimated total production from all hog slaughter.

Pork imports reduced

Imports of pork thus far in i ha8 have been considerably smaller than in
:I37, but they have continued larger than in years prior t( l..:.7. i..- decrease
in imports reflects the larger production -f rork in this country in 1-9 and
also the fact that in the past I,.. r prices of pork in the Urited St.tes have
declined more than in sore forcigr countries. The increase in ir :rts in 1176
and l.~7, on the other hard, apparently resulted partly from the short sjrli. s
of hog products in this country. Fror 1I'... thru.L i 1.- pork prices in the
United States .dvanccd much more than in foreign countries, with the result that
prices in this country became higher than in soce f'r:-i.r countries, whereas in
nost years prior to 1'-5 they were lower.

- 11 -

Although imports of pork in 1937 were large in relation to those of
ether years, they represented only about 1 percent of the total quantity of
pork consumed in this country during the year. A large part of the pork im-
ports in 1937 and 1938 were canned hams, mostly from Poland and to a lesser
extent from other European countries. To some extent they represent a specialty
trade which has developed. Europe as a whole, imports a considerable part of
its meat requirements, and probably will continue to do so, Hence, it appears
that the imports of pork in the past 2 years have been partly of a temporary
nature brought about chiefly by the very short hog supplies in this country
which resulted from the severe droughts of 1934 and 1936.

Increase in exports expecicd

The European demand for A.i:rican hog products probably will be stronger
in 1939 than in the present year. With prospects for a considerably larger
hog slaughter in this country and reduced production in Europe, some further
increase in exports may occur. The outlet for American hog products, how-
ever, will continue to be limited by import and exchange restrictions in
certain importing countries.

Exports of pork which go chiefly to Great Britain, probably will be
larger in the current marketing year than in the preceding year. With a larger
domestic lard production expected some increase in lard exports in the present
marketing year probably will occur. This increase, however, may not be large
because of the reduction in supplies of cottonseed oil in this country.

A further reduction in imports of pork is in prospect for 1939 largely
because of the expected increase in hog production in this country. Reduced
European hog production also may cause certain foreign markets to be more at-
tractive as an outlet for exports from European countries than the United
States market.


Hog prices experienced one of the most marked declines on record from
mid-August to late December 1937, when prices of butcher hogs at Chicago dropped
from about $13 to $7.85. This decline was the result of a large seasonal in-
crease in hog marketing along with a marked weakness in consumer demand for
meats and in storage demand for hog products. Prices strengthened moderately
in February and early March, as supplies of hogs were seasonally reduced. In
early March the weekly average price of butcher hogs at Chicago was about $9.45.
From mid-March to mid-May prices declined somewhat, but this was followed by a
fairly sharp rise from late May to mid-July. In mid-May the weekly average
price of butcher hogs was about the same as at the low point in December, by
l.ite July it was about j9.65.

Since late July the trend in hog prices has been downward, reflecting the
contra-seasonal increase in mark:tings in August and early September. By mid-
October the weekly average price of butcher hogs at Chicago was about $7.85.

Inspected slaughter, live weight, and cost to packers for
hogs, anverre 1928-32, annual 1933-37

: :__rLive weight _: Cost to packers
Year beginning :Inspected : : : Average
Oct. :slaughter : Averie : Total :per 100 : Total
1/ : : :pounds 2/ :
: Million Million
: Thousands Pounds pounds Dollars dollars
1928-32 .....: 46,363 231 10,723 6.92 742

1933 ...........: 43,911 225 9,872 4.07 401
1934 ...........: 30,680 220 6,742 7.75 523
1935 ...........: 31,022 232 7,191 9.79 704
1936 ...........: 34,142 221 7,538 10.18 767
1937 ...........: 34,560 234 8,089 8.41 680

1/ Bureau of Animal Industry.
_/ Not including f r.Oce;,li,- tax payments November 1933 to January 1936.

.'id spread between prices of 1 l"ht and heavy hogs

In January and February the spread between prices of light and heavy
hogs was unusually wide for that time of year. Butcher hogs weighing from
290-350 pounds were quoted at more than $1 less than those v.ciihing 130-200
pounds. Prices of light hogs in this period also were somewhat higher than
prices of medium weight hogs, whereas they are usually somewhat lower ''ring
the winter. The spread between prices of light and heavy hogs narrowed con-
siderably in March and April. During the surmier, spread between the average
price of butcher hogs and the average price of packiln sows also was un-
usually wide, and in most of the summer prices of light butcher hogs were
somewhat lower than prices of medium weight 'hc :. Ordinarily, prices of
light and medium weight hogs are about the same in the summer months. The re-
latively wide spread between prices of light and heavy hogs during the
winter of 1937-Cl reflected to a considerable extent the relatively large
proportion of heavy hogs in the market supplies.

Prices in 1938-39

For the marketing year 1938-39, which bc- r. October 1, slaughter sup-
plies of hogs will be considerably larger than in 1937-38. But it is cxp.ctd
that consumer demand for moats in the present marketing year will average
stronger than in the preceding year. In the early months of the :.:-,r consumer
demand may be weaker than a year earlier, but it probably will .. rove as
the year progresses. Stor.-e demand also may be strong -cr this winter than a
year earlier. Itm. improvement in d.-.and, however, probably will ff'sot only
partly the effects of the lar.:r supplies of hogs u:,cn o- prices.

With abundant food s. --. lies in most areas and :r:c. cts for a con-
tinuation of a favorable hog-corn rice ratio, the proportion of heavy hogs
in the market sij .ly will again be l'.r,:. This probably will cause the spread
bot:ween prices of 1icl.' and heavy hogs to be relatively ;ido, although it
:;-iy not be as wide as it was last winter.




Production Outlook

With the 1938 corn crop nearly as la-;re as the average of the 10 "-: rs
prior to 1934 and with feed supplies, including production and carry-over,
for 1938-39 large in relation to livestock numbers, it is expected that there
will be a further increase in thu number of pi-s raised in 1939. The per- increase in the 1939 pig crol over that of 193", however, probably
will be no li- -r na. be smaller than the incrt:se in 19;q` over 1937.
If the increase in the nuimer of pigs produced in 1939 should be about the
same as in 1930, slaughter supplies of hogs in 1939-40 probably would be about
35 percent greater than t thu low point reached following the 1934 drought,
but they would still be fr, 'r~ to 10 percent smnallcr than the avri-~-e for the
10 years prior to 1934. I' co;r- production in 19'39 is es la- as in 1938
and if a good crop is hr'rv stciu '.n the 'Vcst-ern Corn Belt, the pig crop in 1940
and hog slaughter in 1940-41 light incr.aue to a level equal to the average
of the 10 years prior to the 1934 drought.

Trends in 1ho production by regions

As indicated in the accompanying table, the offoots of droughts of 1934
and 1936 upon hog production a-oro much more severe in the 'oest North Central
States than in other regions. Alth:ough thxro has boon so::c increase in the
number of -i7- produced since 1935, the pig crop in thu 1eostern Corn Bolt in
1938 was 34 percent loss than the avcr-igc of thue 5 years before the 1934
drought. In the East North Cunrtral Statos the 1933 pic crop ;.as only 2 cpr-
cent below the pro-drought average, and in all other regions, except the
7o0stcrn States, it *;as considerably greater than average.

Combine spring and fall pig crops, by regions, average
1929-33, annual 1934-38

o: :1933 as a : : 1 :percontagc
Region : 1929- : 1934 : 1935 : 1936 1937 : 1938 :of average
: 33 : : 1/ :1929-33
: Thou- Thou- Thou- Thou- Thou- Thou-
:sands sands san ss sans sands sands Percent

E. N. Central ........: 20,174 15,445 15,442 18,081 17,860 19,706 97.7
7. !. Central ......: 41,012 25,025 22,646 26,376 23,581 27,156 66.2
All N. Contra.1 ........: 61,187 40,470 38,0o0 4L4,457 41,441 46,862 76.6
North Atlantic .......: 1,378 1,153 1,270 1,511 1,615 1,621 117.6
South Atlantic .....: 4,941 4,570 4,943 5,642 5,925 6,350 120.5
South Central .........: 9,349 0,510 8,779 10,595 10,166 11,466 122.6
Western ...............: 3,177 2,05C 2,006 2,712 2,699 2,684 84.5

United States .........: 80,032 56,766 55,066 64,917 61,046 68,983 86.2

L/ Preliminary.

III lllll llll ll ll IIIlll lll llll I
S-25 -4- 3 1262 08861 7435

In part of the ":.'st North Central States, namely Iowa, L.i.c'i,-ota and
Missouri the corn crop was fairly large in both 1937 and 1935, and in these
States a considerable further increase may occur in the 193? pig crop. But
in Nebraska, Kansas and South Dakota corn production was short in both 1937
and 1938 following short crops in 1934 and 1936. In these st-tts the in-
crease in the 1939 pig crop probably will not be large, and for the YWest
North Central States as a whole the increase in 1939 may be less than in 1938.

In the Bast North Central States, where the 1938 pig crop was nearly
as largo as the pre-?rou-iiht average, the corn crop this year was somewhat
smaller than the large crop of last year, but food supplies in this area are
large, Jith the hog-corn price ratio continuing favorable it seems probable
that there will be a further increase in the pig crop in 1939. This will
carry hog production in that area to a level beyond the pre-drought aver.go,
but it probably will not be so largo as the high level of 1933. Assumin; that
feed production in the East North Central States next year will be near the
level of this year, further increases in hog production will depend to a
greater extent upon the relation of hog prices to prices of feed grains and
to prices of other livestock and livestock products than in other regions.

In the Southern States, where hog production has increased considerably
in recent years, the 1938 pig crop was about 25 percent larger than the
1929-33 _vr -.j.. This increase reflects the larger production of corn and pea-
nuts in those States as well as the relatively high prices of hogs in the
past 3 or 4 years. Feed crop production in most of the southern area this
year was about as large as it was last year, but with hog prices this yvar
lower than a year earlier, further expansion of hog production in the South
probably will be rather moderate.

Trends in hog prices

Although some decr -sc in cattle s l.Lughter is expected during the nc':t
few years, it will not be so large as the increase in hog slaughter. Thus,
the trend in meat production will be upward, and by about 1941 it is probably
that total seat production will be as largo as the average of the 5 years
preceding the 1934 drought. Because of the incroseo in population the per
capital production of meats by 1941 is not likely to be so large as it was
prior to the 1934 drought, but it will be 1-rrr than in the past 3 or 4 yc.ars.

ih.-thcr this upward trend in hog slaughter and in total meat production
will be ac-om-.anied by a downward trend in hog prices will d,:- cnd largely
upon the crh:n.jcs in incomes of domestic consumers and to a much lesser ox-
tent upon the foreign demand for American ;.'g products, cL:,ci-lly lard, If
the level of consumer incomes in the next few years should increase to a
level equal to that of late 1936 :.,.i early 1937 or ..~rh .,s slightly higher,
this improvement in domand -rub-.bly would largely offset the -f'-ots on
hog prices of the increase in loe slaughtcr and total :iCat si'1plios. Even
with little inmrovcment in incomes of consumers in thu next fC.: years, and
if hog slaughter increases to about the level pruv-.1lir. in 19"- and 1933,
..t prior to the 1:'4 drci-lit, it is not c:: 6.-d that h.- :ces v:i.l
.-cline in these -rs to as low a level as that of 1-,:'2 rnd 1933.

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