UNITED STATES D.TARTMfNT OF AGRICULTURE
Bureau of Agricultural Economics
HS-28 February 18, 1939
r- ; i r-I _--L'S. T- -- -
( ^ .^T------i---------------------------
THE HOG SITUATI 0 N
US DEPOSITORY Su rnary
The seasonal reduction in slaughter supplies of hogs now in progress
probably will continue through March, but the Bureau of Agricultural
Economics expects a rather marked seasonal increase in supplies after March,
as marketing of fall pigs get underway in large volume. During the last
half (April-September) of the present marketing year, hog slaughter probably
will be considerably larger than that of a year earlier, reflecting chiefly
the 18 percent increase in the 1938 fall pig crop over that of 1937,
Consumer demand for meats in the next ew months may not show much change
compared with the demand in the past 2 months, but some further improvement
is expected by summer.
Prices of hogs rose moderately during the last half of January and in
early February, as marketing were seasonally reduced. Inspected hog slaugh-
ter in January was about 7 percent smaller than in December and also about
4 percent sr.allLr than in January 1938. The spread between prices of light
and heavy hogs has widened somewhat in the past 2 months, but it is still
much narrower than the relatively wide spread a year ago.
Slaughter supplies of hogs in the current marketing year are expected
to total at least 15 percent larTer than in 1937-38. A large increase in
the 1939 spring pig crop is in prospect. And if food crop production this
year is near average, market supplies of hogs in the 1939-03 marketing year
(beginning October 1) will be materially larger than in the present year
and may equal or exceed the 1929-33 average. This would represent a recovery
in hog production to the level prevailing before the 1934 drought.
Exports of both pork and lard in the calendar year 1938 were the
largest since 1934, but they were much smaller than in the years prior to
1934. Imports of pork were substantially smaller than in 1937. It is expect-
ed that there will be a further increase in exports of pork and lard during
the present year in view of the larger hog slaughter in prospect al.d a some-
what broader foreign outlet for hog products resulting from the trade
agreement recently concluded by the United States and Great Britain.
REVISE CF RLCEOT DEVaLOFIMfITS
Background:- Hog marketing in the first 3 months of the present
marketing year, which began October 1, 1938, were about 16 percent
larger than those of a year earlier. This increase is chiefly a
reflection of the larger spring pig crop in 1?38 than in 1937. The
market movement of spring pigs in substantial volume got undorway
earlier than usual in the summer of 1938, and marketing increased
considerably from August through December. As a result of this
increase in marketing prices of butcher hogs declined about $2.40
per 100 pounds from late July to late December.
Ho prices rise in January
Prices of hogs rose moderately in the last half of January and in early
February, after having held fairly steady during the first half of January.
The average price of butcher hogs at Chicago for the weok reded February 11
was $7.70 comp:.red with $7.25 for the week cnded January 7. The advance in
prices in recent weeks was due chiefly to the seasonal reduction in market
supplies of hogs.
The range in prices of different weights of hogs has been relatively
narrow thus far in the present markctinj year in contrast to the relatively
wide spread between prices of light and heavy hogs prevailing in the winter
of 1937-38. Although this spread has widened somewhat in the past 2 months,
the :;c.A:ly average price of 200-220 pound hogs at Chicigo in early February
was only about 50 cents higher than the prico of 290-350 pound hogs, whereas
a 'yc:r earlier it was about $1 higher.
Hog slught.r reduced in Jc.nuary
Inspcct.d hog slaughtor in January, totaling 4,043,000 head, was about
3CC,C'-:c head srall:r than in Dcco:.bor, and about 150,000 head seller than
that of J-:.u.^ry last year. Aver-,go weights of hogs in January were seasonal-
ly heavier than in Decc-rr.mbr and they also wore heavier than a year earlier.
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Hog-corn price ratio continues above average
January was the 16th successive month in which the ratio between hog
prices and corn prices has been above the long-time average. In the North
Central States (Corn Belt) the hog-comprice ratio, based on mid-month
prices received by farmers, was about 17,4 for January compared with about
17.1 in Decermber ard 15.8 in January last year. The high ratio and the
large feed supplies already have been reflected in relatively heavy weights
of hogs marketed and in increases in the spring and fall pig crops of 1938,
Se-:sonal inc-ease in pork and lard stocks
Storage holdings of pork and lard increased seasonally in January.
The increase in stocks of both pork and lard, however, was somewhat less than
in January last year. February 1 stocks of pork totaled 524 million pounds,
about 30 million pounds smaller than a year earlier and smaller than the
1933-37 average for February 1. Stocks of lard on February 1 were about 23
percent larger than a month earlier and also were larger than the 1933-37
average fcr that date.
Storage holdings of pork and lard on the first of the month,
Octob-r-February, average 1933-37, 1937-38 and 1938-39
5-year avcrac : 1937-38 1938-39
r:onth ___ _i __I
Pork Lard Pork Lard Pork Lard
: .11ion Million .Million Million Million Million
: pounds poC u -ds pounds pounds pounds pounds_
Oct. .....: 415 108 283 73 277 90
Ilov. .....: 372 83 266 39 252 68
Dec. .....: 425 So 307 34 299 74
Jan. ....: 560 9 399 54 430 107
Feb. .....: 630 118 554 99 l/ 524 1/132
_/ Prc liminary.
Exports of pork and lard increase in 1938
E::ports of pork totai-d about 96 million pounds in the 1938 calendar
year, and wcrc the largest sinco 1934. Lard exports of about 205 million
pounds also were the largest since 1934. E>ports of pork exceeded those of
a year o.-rlier in every moith of 1938, and lard exports were larger than a
year earlier in c-ch of the first 10 months of 1323. Our exports of pork
in 1938 worc cquivalent to the pork production from about 620,000 hogs and
our lard exports were equal to the lard output from nearly 6,900,000 hogs.
Inspected hog slaughter in 1938 totaled 36.2 million head.
Irports of pork for the calendar ,''ar 1938 totaled 52.4 million pounds
compared with 74.8 million pounds in 1937. Except for 1937, pork imports
for 1938 were the largest on record. During the past year, however, imports
of pork have decreased while pork exports have substantially increased.
This is probably a reflection of the increase in domestic slaughter supplies
of hogs in 1938 than in 1937.
The upward trend in exports of pork and lard probably will continue in
1939. This increase will be due in considerable measure to the larger hog
slaughter in this country, but it will also reflect to some extent a broader
foreign outlet for hog products, particularly in the United Kingdom. Under
the trado agreement recently concluded by the United States and Great Britain,
total imports of bacon and hams permitted entry into Great Britain from
the United States in 1939 will be about 61 million pounds, whereas in 1938
the total United States quota for these products was about 48 million pounds.
The removal of the British duty of 10 percent ad valorem on lard also will
tend to stimulate imports of lard from the United States. But it should be
noted in connection with exports to Great Britain in 1939, that the recent
decline in the exchange value of the British pound in terms of dollars will
cause exports during the year to be smaller than they otherwise would have
Exports of lard to specified countries, average 1929-33, annual
to which : Average : 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938
exported : 1929-33 : :
: Iliilion :Liillin Million Million
: pounds pounds pounds pounds
.'i2 lion Million
United Kingdom 254 282 65 64 75 125
Cuba .......... 45 26 24 31 41 -47
Mexico ........: 52 37 1 2 7 7
Germany .......,: 151 27 2 7 2 2
Nothcrlands .... 40 9 l/ 1/ 1/ 1/
Other countries : 102 54 5 8 12 24
Total ......: 644 435 97 112 137 205
United States Department of Commnrce. Figures include neutral lird.
I/ Less than 500,0:3 pounds,
Exports of bacon, hams and shoulders to specified countries,
average 1929-33, annual 1934-38
Country to :Average, : 1934 1935 : 1936 : 1937 1938
which exported : lq2Q-.. : : : :
:Mil. lb. Mil. lb. Mil. lb. Mil. lb. Mil. Ib. Mil. lb.
United Kingdom ..: 102 58 49 38 35 47
Cuba ...........: 14 9 6 4 3 4
Other countries .: 39 16 6 4 5 11
Total ......: 155 83 61 46 43- 62
United States Department of Commerce. Cumberland and Wiltshire sides excluded.
A fairly complete discussion of the outlook for hogs was given in the
January issue of the Hog Situation. Briefly summarized, the important points
given with respect to the outlook in that issue were as follows:
1. Slaughter supplies of hogs in the 1938-39 marketing year, which be-
gan last October, will be materially larger than in 1937-38. It is probable
that in.-;r tL- hog slaughter for 1938-39 will total approximately 40 million
head ccn;~.:sr with 34.6 million head in 1937-38. This increase in laughter will
be a reflection of the increases--of 13 and 18 percent, respectively-in the
spring and fall pig crops of 1938 over those of 1937-
2. A further marked increase in the 1939 pig crops is expected. On
the basis of bred,-ig intentions reported by farmers about December 1, 1938,
it was est.na'-e, '&hat tne number of sows to farrow in the spring of 1939 would
be about 21 percrcrt greater than the number that farrowed in the spring of
1938. If ~eoel crop production is about svJra.ge this year, it is probable
that the 19,9 fall pig crop also will be lar-rr than that of 1938. It is
not unlikely, therefore, that the total nig crop (spring and fall crops
combined) this year will be 80 million head or more, which would be 13 percent
greater than the total crop of 1938 and about equal to the 1929-33 average.
3. If the total pig crop in 1939 should be as large as 80 million head,
inspected hog slaughter in 1939-40 would total about 46 million head. Such a
slaughter would be the largest since 1932-33 and would be about equal to the
4. The effects of the larger market supplies upon hog prices in 1938-39
will be partly offset by improvement in consumer demand for meats.
5. No definite indication of the probable level of hog prices in 1939-
40 is now possible. But if hog slaughter in 1939-40 should be about equal to
the 1929-33 average, it would be about 15 percent larger than the slaughter in
1938-39 and nearly 35 percent greater than the 1937-38 slaughter. If supplies
should be this large in 1939-40, hog prices in that year-will overage lower
than in the present year unless consumer demand for meats and national income
Seasonal changes in marketing
The seasonal reduction in hog marketing now in progress probably
will continue through March. Inspected slaughter in January not only was
smaller than in December, but it also was smaller than a year earlier.
Slaughter may continue smaller than a year earlier in February and March at
least, despite the fact that the 1938 spring pig crop was 13 percent larger
than that of 1937. In the December issue of the Hog Situation it was stated
that marketing of spring pigs had begun earlier than usual in the summer of
1938, and because of this it was indicated that the proportion of spring
pigs remaining on farms on January 1, 1939, probably would be smaller than
a year earlier. As spring pigs make up the bulk of the marketing in the
winter months, the unusually heavy movement of such pigs before January 1
may cause marketing for the January-March quarter to be smaller than
a year earlier.
After March hog marketing are expected to increase seasonally as fall
pigs begin to be marketed in large volume. With an increase of 18 percent
in the 1938 fall pig crop over that of 1937, it is probable that market
supplies of hogs in the last half (April-September) of the current marketing
year will be larger than in the corresponding period last year.
Consumer demand for meats is not expected to change greatly from
present levels in the next few months, although it may improve somewhat
further by summer. Changes in hog prices in the spring and summer probably
will reflect chiefly the changes in slaughter supplies of hogs.
Annual Livestock Inventory, January 1
The annual report of the number and value of
livestock on farms, was released by the Crop Reporting
Board February 16. Copies may be obtained on request
from the Division of Economic Information, Burecu of
Agricultural Economics, Washington, D. C.
The number of hogs on farms on January 1, 1939
was estimated to be 49,011,000 head compared with
44,218,000 hend on January 1, 1938. Increases in num-
bers were reported for all regions, except the Western
States, where no change was indicated. Further discussion
of the changes in hog numbers will be given in the March
issue of this report.
Prices of hogs and hog products, specified periods
S : : Oct. Sept. :Oct.-Jan.
:Jan. : Dec. : Jan.:Avera,-e:
Item :Unit :1938 :1938 :1939 :192-29:1936-:1937-:1937-:193g-
: : : to : 37 : 38 : 38 : 39
:: :19Dol l
Average price: :per 100
Seven markets........ :pounds:
Ch i cago................: do
U.S. average price
received by farmers...: do
Prices of hog products,
L-ins, 8-10 lb....... do
Hrims, smoked, reg.
No. 1, 10-12 lb..,,.: do
Bacon,' smoked, No. 1.:
dry cured, 6-8 lb...: do
H.W. tubs..........: do
Average price of Io. 3 : cents:
yellow corn, Chicago..:per lb;
Hog-corn price ratio: 2/:
Iorth Central States..: do
Proportion of packing
sows in total oaker
and shipper purchases,:Per-:
seven markets 3/......: ent, i
Average weight at seven
7.81 7.15 7.21 1/ 10.28.8.33
7.91 7.24 7.30 6.99 10,49.8.47
7.59 6.90 6.96
15.45 14.28 14,76
23.56 21,00 21,38
27.69 21.50 21,50
6.4g 9.r6 8.07 8.29 7.10
17.07 2242g'l9,6g 17.98 15,80
20,31 24,65 23,56 23,83 21,50
7.94 7.72 9.68 13.13
28,58 26,99 29,20 22,23
59 51 52 62 115 57 5g 48
3.0 5.0 4.o
11.6 9.2 14.s
12.9 9.4 17.6
1/ 15.0 13.0 .o0
240 237 244 V/ 231
I/ Ilot available.
2/ Lumber of bushels of corn eq-tivalent in value to 100 pounds of live hogs.
3J Monthly figures computed from wee&l; averages.
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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 l II08861 I7302
3 1262 08861 7302
Supplies -f hogs ".. hr- products, specified periods
SOct.--ent. : Oct. Dec.
~: : :Aveerage:
:1Tov. :Dec. :1928-29: 1:3- :1937-: 1737 : 138
.17BI :1. I : to 37 : : :
: :012-'.: :____L ___ ____
ho: slan}t;-r :
in.specti n: :
I':m-cpr : Thou-:
sl i-^.t -*r-i Ij :. -a'-.ds : '
A-. re........... .:?-u-.d :
Dressed -v:I-ht: :
Average........... :P- nd
Total ............ :Mil.lb.:
Yield of lard
per 1', oui .is : : .
live weight of :
A -arc.t cons.: :
Pork, incl :.i-n :
lard 2 ...........: do
Lard............... .. : do
L-.-rt~s: 3J :
L, r i...... ...... ...: :
Icoorts of pork 3/...: do
Proportion *: sows in:
229 224 230 231
906 878 1,0:.2 10,723
172 167 174
,'?1 2 757
221 234 227
7,53S S,0o, 2,258
13.5 15.2 10.9
112 10C 175 1,630
545 :574 575 7,171 5,.
70 s3 33 cl 7
533 1,002 25b 330
I/ B'rerea of Animal Industry.
/ ?e- res-e.ts a~-irLnt dis_' .. o.r.cr _
-.': > f ats.
-*f f!.:-ra!ly :r.snectci nork rlus unrendered
United States -p-artment of Commerce. Frk i.rclu'.ics bacon, hams and shoulders,
and fresh, canned, nrd pickled nork. Lard includess neutral lard.
, S ?l,3 7, 46,1:3 34,142 ;4,50 G9,94 11,570
42.9 51.2 zl.1