UrIITED ST,ATZ3 DEPAR:.ZilT OF AGRICULTURE
Bureau of Agricultural Economics
".7 :Ishi ii:ton
HS-26 December 19,1933
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T HE O G SIT U A T I O N
IU DEPSlIT'RY Summary
A seasonal decrease in hog marketing is expected in the late winter
and early spring, but supplies probably will continue larger than a year
earlier. Consumer demand for hog products has improved somewhat since mid-
summer. This improvement in demand probably will be well maintained in
early 193/,, with some further strengthening not unlikely.
Prices of hogs have declined a little more than $2 per hundred pounds
since late July, due to a seasonal increase in :imrket supplies. Marketing
of spring pigs got under way in volume in August, somewhat earlier than
usual. Marketings in recent months were considerably larger than a year
earlier, reflecting the increase in the 1938 spring pig crop over that of
1937. But average weights of hogs in the past 2 months have been lighter
than a year earlier chiefly because of the larger proportion of spring pigs
in the marketing this fall than last.
Feed supplies generally are abundant, and feed prices are low in re-
lation to hog prices. In mid-November the hog-corn price ratio in the Corn
Belt was the highest for that time of year on record. Because of the
large supplies of corn and other feeds and the high hog-corn price ratio,
average weights of hogs probably will increase seasonally in the next few
months. 7ogs marketed during most of 1939 may be as heavy as in 1938.
The large supplies of feed and the favorable hog-corn price ratios pro-
bably will be reflected also in an increase in the 1939 sJiring pig crop
over that of 1938e
Under the provisions of the trade agreement recently concluded by the
United States and Great Britain (effective January 1), the duty of 10 per-
cent ad valorem on lard imports into Great Britain was removed. The British
quota on imports of hams from this country also was increased. Great Britain
for many years has been the leading outlet for United States exports of
cured pork and lard.
The December 1 pig crop report giving
estimates of the nunbor of pigs farrow-
ed in the fall of 1938 and an indication
of the number of sows bred for farrow in
the O.riri, of 1939 will be released by
the Bureau of Agricultural Economics on
Decenb er 22,
REVI .7 OF F.l2 D. FL'IC 'I T
B.1., i.- The market movement of the spring, pigs in sub-
stantial volume began earlier than usual this year. Hog
markotin s in w.ug.'-t were lar -r than in July for the
second time on record. Largely as a result of this in-
crease in marketings, hog prices began to decline in August
this year whereas in most year prices do not weaken until
Markctiri s continued to increase after Au .i..t, ox-
..:.'.i,- marketings a year earli,,r, but a .-rt of the effect
of this ;i..in prices in recent months has been ::_rtly offset
by some improvement in consu.;;.r demand. The larger su::-lies
this year than last reflect chiefly the 13 I..rccnt increase
in the 1938 3'ri:.: pi.- crop over that f 1 37.
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Hog prices decline in October and November
Prices of hogs declined moderately in October and Novenber as hog
marketing increased seasonally. In early December, the weekly average
price of butcher hogs at Chicago was about $7.35 compared with $7.95 in
late October, and about $8.05 in-late*September. The range in prices of
the several weight groups of hogs in recent weeks has been unusually
narrow. A year earlier, prices of heavy i.ciLht butcher ljs were somewhat
lower than prices of light and medium weight butchers, a spread that
became widened later in the'winter.
The average price of butcher hogs at Chicago has declined slightly
more than $2 since late July from about $9.65 to $7.35. This is in con-
trast with a decline of more than $4.50 a year earlier, from about $13 in
mid-August to about $8.40 in early DLcci-irmbr. The sharp drop in prices in
1937 resulted from a large seasonal increase in hog marketing and a
marked decline in consumer demand, There was a fairly large increase in
marketing from August through Noviember this year, but not so great as in
Inspected slaughter of hogs and avc-,7:e price of
butcher hogs, Chicago, August-November, 1937 and
: Inscect_.d slaughter of hogs _. : Average price per
Month A: '--* uhtc. : :100 pounds of barrows
..Month ubr slauf-htered 1/ Aug. = 100
: :and gilts, Chicago
S 1937 : 1938 1937 : 1938 : 1937 1938
:Thousands Thousands Percent Percent Dollars Dollars
Aug. ....: 1,590 2,467 100.0 100.0 2/ 12.63 8.75
Sept.'.....: 2,033 2,671 127.9 108.3 11.97 8.90
Oct. .....: 2,711 3,311. 170.5 134.2 10.34 7.93
Nov. ...... 3,295 3,913 207.2 158.6 8.72' 7.68
1/ Bureau of Animal Industry.
2/ Computed from weekly avLcrgcs.
Ho_ marketing increase seasonally in rNovember
Inspected hog slaughter in November was 18 percent larger than in
October and 19 percent greater than in November last year. Average'weights
of hogs marketed since early September have been lighter than a year earlier.
In November the average weight of hogs at the seven leading markets of
227 pounds was 4 pounds lighter than in November last year.
Hog-corn price ratio increases
S The decline in corn prices since mid-summer has been relatively
greater than the drop in hog prices, and the ratio between hog prices and
corn prices has increased. Based on prices received by farmers for hogs
HS-26 4 -
and corn on November 15, the hog-corn price ratio in the North Central
States was 20.1. This figure is much higher than average and is the
highest for November on record.
Wholesale prices of oork and lard weaken in October and November
Prices of fresh pork declined almost steadily in October and November,
At the end of November prices were at the lowest level since last February,
Wholesale prices of cured pork also declined, but the drop in October was
much greater than that in November. 'Lard prices continued to decline in
November, reaching the lowest level since the summer of 1934.
Storage stocks of pork and lard increase in December
Storage holding s of pork increased seasonally in November, but total
stocks of pork on December 1 were slightly smaller than a year earlier,
and much smaller than the December 1 average. Stocks of lard at the
beginning of Dccoiiber wore only slightly larger than a month earlier, but
they were more than twico as large as the relatively small stocks on hand
on December 1 last year.
Storage holdings of pork and lard, specified dates
: D 1 : :
: -year : Dc. 1, : Dec. 1, : Nov. 1, : Dc. ,
Item : average : 1936 : 1937 : 1938 : 1938 1/
: 1933-37 :
_- 1,9.33 .3. I ,--oo- o .. .......... -- ....-
1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000
: pounds pounds pounds p oun .ds pounds
Pork .......: 424,922 463,400 306,630 251,645 296,6
Lard .......: 00,108 100,765 33,966 67,667 72,2.3.1
Exports of pork and lard increase in September and October
Pork .:::-orts in both September and October exceeded the -rrc>dinc
month. Exports in October ai.-ountcd to 7.3 million pou:.is, which was
600,C0:0 pounds more than in Se. r.ibor and 2.6 million pounds greater than
in October 1937. Practically all of the increase from October 1ili-r:gh
November this year was in cured pork.
Tn .rts of pork continued to docreasu in October. The total -.f 2.8
million funds s w.s the smallest for cy month since ? bruary 19-C'. The
reduction in pork imports during the current :-.r reflects chiefly the
l-.r or domestic -..: ter supplies of hogs and the -ir.- .r decline in
prices of 1h -s and :...rk in the 1.:,ited States than in foreign countries.
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Exports of lard in October, totaling 21 million pounds, were the
largest for any month since last December. All of the increase in the
total lard exports from September through October was in the shipments
to creat Britain.
Hogs and Hog Products and th.e dew British and Canadian Trade
i''gremze !t s l/
The trade agreement recently,coni'luded with Canada, provides for re-
ductions in the United States and Canadian duties on hogs "and certain hog
products. The agreement with Great Britain provides for reductions in
British duties on certain hog products and also for an inCrease in the
United States quota'on imports of hams into the United Kihgdom;. The pro-
visions of both agreements become effective January 1, 1939;'.Thefollow-
ing statement su.iumarizos the important changes.
The British Agreariit.
From the standpoint of United States hog producers the most important
changes made by either of the two agreements are the concessions made by
Great Eritain on imports of hams and lard. The duty of 10 percent ad
valorem on lard imports into Great Britain has been removed. The United
States for many years has been the principal source of British lard imports,
and Gr.at Britain usually is the most important outlet for United States
Another important concession made by Groat Britain was the increase
in the United States quota on imports of hams into the United Kingdom,
Since late 1932 imports of bacon and hams into Great Britain from non-
British Empire countries have boon subject to quantitative restrictions.
The total quota for imports of bacon and hams has boon cha eod from time
to time, but the percentage allocations of the total quota have not been
changed greatly. Since early 1934 the United States share has boon 8.1
percent of the total quota. Under the now agreement, the United States
will be permitted to ship to Groat Britain at least 56 million pounds of
hams per year, and this quantity may be increased under certain conditions.
During the period from 1935 through 1937 the annual United States import
quota for bacon and hams varied between 47 million and 49 million pounds,
In 1936 and 1937, however, because of the sharp decrease in hog production
resulting from droughts, the United States quota was not filled.
In recent years most of the United States shipments of cured pork
to Great Britain has been hams. Great Britain has long been the leading
outlet for United States exports of hams and shoulders. The United States
usually has been the leading supplier of separately cut hams to the British
market. It should be noted, however, that the so-called imports of bacon
into Great Britain from continental Europe and Canada are most in the form
of Wiltshire sides, or half carcasses, which include hams and shoulders,
1/ A discussion of the trade -grc-.n-rnts with Great Britain and Canada,
especially as they relate to farm products, will appear in the December
issue of Foreign Agriculture, a monthly publication of this Bureau.
Imports of hams and lard into the United Kingdom from all
countries, and from the United States, 1933-37
Hams : Lard
Year : All : United : All* : United
countries : States : countries : States
1,000 1 ,C: 0 1,000 1,000
pounds pounds pounds pounds
1933 ........: 96,275 62,317 322,285 280,193
1934 *........: 81,295 53,298 313,778 290,882
1935 .........: 75,643 46,858 170,927 65,123
1936 ........: 75,081 37,172 169,797 65,774
1937 1/V......: 75,600 34,916 164,772 74,416
Compiled from Annual Statement of the Trade of the United ::in-ion. Imports
l/ Preliminary. Reexports not separately reported.
The Canadian Trade Agreement
Under the provisions of the new trade agreement with Canada, the duty
on live hogs imported into Canada was lowered from 1-1/4 cents per pound to
1 cent per pound; the duty on fresh pork was reduced from 2-1/2 cents to
1-1/4 cents per pound. Under the trade ai-frcm.rint concluded with Canada in
1935 the Canadian duty on bacon, hams .nd shoulders was lowered from 5 cents
to 1-3/4 cents per pound, and the latter rate continues in effect.
Under the new agreement with Canada the duties on hogs and hog pro-
ducts imported into the United States wore ch-nced as follows: the duty
on live hogs is reduced from 2 cents to 1 cent per pound; the duty on pork,
fresh and chilled but not frozen was lowered from 2-1/2 cents to 1-1/4
cents per pound; and the duty on bacon, hams and shoulders prc,-rod or pre-
served but not cookod,boned or canned, or nado into sausage was rciuccd
from 3-1/4 cents to 2 cents per pound. The duty on canned hams continues
to be 3-1/4 conts pcr pound.
The Novc-':bcr issue of The Hog Situation gave the following conclusions
as to the outlook for hogs in 1938-39:
(1) Slaughter supplies of ]ho.: in the 1938 marketing year, which
began October 1, will be materially lar -r than in the r:c'r inj year. It
is probable that inspected hog sl.. Alter in 1938-39 :,ill total between 37
and 38 million head compared with 34.6 million huc.d in 1937-3?. Av. ra,-
.weights of :.e-s i.rk.otd in l,'f-3' arc o.:ctcd to be -.bout as heavy as
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(2) Domestic demand for hog products, including both consumer and
storage demand, in the current marketing year probably will be more favor-
able than in 1937-38, and the for.igcn demand for hog products also may be
a little stronger. But the effects of the stronger demand upon prices
probably will only partially offset the effects of the l.r- r sup!lios.
(3) 'Largely because of the abundant feed supplies produced in 1937,
the pig crops in 19.3 were considerably larger than those of last year.
With feed supplies in 193.-39 abundant and largo in relation to livestock
numbers a further increase in the nu.;.br of pigs raised in 1939 is expected.
Seoasonal decrease in hog marketing expected in the
late winter and early spring
A seasonal reduction in market supplies of hogs probably will got under
way shortly after the beginning of 1939. As indicated, the market movement
of spring pigs began earlier than usual in 1938. All of the increase in
marketing over a year earlier in the past 2 months has boon in spring pigs,
as marketings of old crop hogs have beon st-nllcr than a year earlier. It
is probable, therefore, that the proportion of :-rings remaining on farms
on January 1 will be smaller than a year earlier. Thus there may be a
larger th-n usual seasonal decrease in marketing in the late winter and
early spring. But because the spring pig crop in 1938 was considerably
larger than that of 1937, it is expected that marketing will continue larger
than a year earlier until the suimor months, at least.
As already indicated, hog slaughter in the first 2 months of the
current marketing year, which began October 1, has eoon considerably larger
than a year earlier. Slaughter in early December also was larger than a
year earlier. If slaughter in the first 3 months of the present year should
be about an average proportion of the yearly total, inspected slz.uhtcr for
the 1938-39 marketing year would be larger than 37 or 30 million head, which
was the estimate given in the annual hcg outlook report released in early
November. In order for the yearly total to be no larger than 38 million
head slaughter in the first 3 months (October-December) would have to re-
present a larger than average proportion of th..t total. In all other years,
except one, when feed supplies have been plentiful and the hog-corn price
ratio much above average as they are this year, the proportion that
slaughter in the first 3 months of the marketing year was of the yearly
total was smaller than average rather than larger than average. In the 1937-
38 marketing year, however, the proportion was only about average. It is
possible, therefore, that the indication for inspected slaughter for
1938-39, given in the annual outlook report iiay be too small, and some revi-
sion may be made in ths indication :;:hen the estimates of the 1930 fall
pig crop become available.
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Domestic demand for hog products
Consumer demand for hog products in early 1939 is expected to be
stronger than a year earlier. Demand has improved materially since mid-
summer as industrial activity and incomes of consumers have incr:-sed. In
the next few months it is expected that consumer demand will hold near
present levels, with some additional imrn'oe re.r-:rt not unlikely.
Average weights of hogs
With feed supplies abundant and feed prices low in relation to hog
prices, it is expected that hogs will be fed to relatively heavy weights.
Consequently, it still seems probable (as was stated in the outlook report)
that the average weight for the present marketing year will be about as
heavy as in 1937-33,despite the lighter weights in October and I:ovcribr.
In the summer of 1937, because of the shortage and high prices of
feed, a large number of hogs were held over for finishing on new crop
grains and were marketed mostly from October through December. In the
summer of 19w3, with feed supplies lar7e and prices low, there was no such
hold-over of hogs, and marketings in the past 2 months have been mostly
spring pigs. This difference in make up of the supply is largely responsible
for the lighter weights thus far in the present marketing year.
Prices of hogs and hog products, specified periods
Item : Unit : 192
Average price: :Dol.
All pur:hise.- :per
Chicago ........... :100 b: 8.
Omaha ............. :" 8.
Barrows and gilts-
Chicago ........... 8.
U.S.average price re-:
ceived by farmers ..: : 8.
Prices of hog products
Loins,S-10 lb ....: : 18.
1,10-12 lb. ......: : 23.
Bacon,smoked To.1 :
dry cured,6- lb. : : 29.
H.W. tubs ........: : 11.
Average price of No.3:Cents
Yellow corn,Chicago.:per lb:
Hog-corn price ratio::
Chicago ............ Bu. : 16.
No.Central States ..: : 19.
: : Oct.-Sept.
: to :
Oct. : Nov.
1938 : 1938
64 7.84 1/7.67
08 7.54 7.47
7.28 7.25 6.48
17.75 16.40 17.07
22.31 21.30 20.31
23.62 22.30 23.71
8.53 8.33 9.68
10.49 8.47 9.34 7.76
9.94 8.05 8.76 7.50
53 45 46 62 115
17.5 16.7 11.6
19.5 20.1 12.9
19.68 20.20 17.00
23.56 24.68 21.80
26.99 30.94 22.96
9.4 17 .6
Proportion of packing:
sows in total packer:
& shipper purchases,:
seven markets 4/ ...: Pet.: 8.0
Average weight at :
seven markets ......: Lb. 231
224 .. 227
15.0 13.1 12.0 9.0
2/ 231 246 232
1/ Prices based on a limited number of sales because of
/ Not available.
/ Number of bushels of corn equivalent-in value to 100
/ Monthly figures computed from weekly averages.
stockyards strike in Chicago
pounds of live hogs.
UNivERSITY Of FLORIDA
3 1262 08861 7591
Eurlr ie? cf hct-s '-rnd htc products, sr.e'ified pr-'riods
Item : Unit
Juriit.er : Thiou-
slau&hterei .: bnd3n :
Live wer1t : :
Aver -. ..... : Pound :
Tot sli ....... ::. 1.1ib.
-rer- -, ;ie- ght:
A'.'er a e .....: Pound
T'ot. .l ....... :-11. it.:
71-lId nf lard :
per 100 Ib1.. :
l1ve w i:-ht :
of i:'r ..... : Poundr.
Frodu-ct icn rf :
iard ........ :1.ii. It.:
A rf a'rer.t .'rr.;::
cF rk, irl. :
I rd _' ....: :
L.rd ........: "
P:r:k ..........: "
L3 rd ..........: :
Imp't ci -.rk3, : "
Pro.,- t i:r. of :
so'.:s iT Ir..n E t-:
ed sl- 'urrit- r 4 .: F':r :-ent
:Ct.-S e t.
:Aver ,e: : :
:1928--9: 1935- : 19.6- : 1937-
: to : 26 : 37 : 38
:1932-33: : :
S,7i 3,,Z11 46,36? 31,022 34,14, 2' 24,580
220 231 2
161 175 i "
22 P,069 5 ,402
?9. 1i.5 1.:.3 15.2 il.1 10.9
1 ,6.. 0
.5 ,1i71 5,14 5,601
91 961 "12 756
-- r.0 ( .1i
51.9 5 1.1
1/ Bureau of Animal Industry.
2/ Y-.. resents apparent disi; ::ranee
of f --':rally insp.- :ted
pork plus unrer.dered
3/ United States TL- irt.-n-rnt of Comaerce. Pork inclid- s bacon, hams .:d shoulders,
and iru- -., canned, and pickled pork. Lard includes neutral lard.
4/ Includes gilts.