The hog situation


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The hog situation
Physical Description:
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.

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
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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

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Full Text

Bureau of Agricultural Economics
7Jasnin 'ton

HS-17 NMrch 18, 1938


For the of the current hog marketing year, which ends

September 30, supplies of hogs for market will be considerably larger than a

year earlier. But the larger marketing will be offset to a considerable

extent, the Bureau of Agricultural Economics says, by the smaller storage

stocks of pork and lard now on hand. Consumer demand for hog 'products this

spring and summer, however, will be less favorable than in the same period

last year.

3Sesonal changes in hog prices during the spring and summer of this

year are expected to be more nearly normal than they were in the same period

last year. Some weakness in hog prices probably will develop during the late

spring and early summer as marketings of fall pigs increase. After midsummer,

prices may advance somewhat with the seasonal reduction in market supplies.

This rise in prices, however, may be limited by the continued weak consumer

demand for meats.

In view of the high hog-corn price ratio in the past 6 months and the

present low level of hog production in many areas, it is expected that the 1938

spring pig crop will be larger than that of 1937. This will mman 1 i-7rr market-

ings of hogs in the first half (October through March) of the 1938-39 marketing

year than in the same period of the current season.

Hog prices rose almost steadily from late January to mid-March, chiefly

as a result of the decrease in marketing during the period. The average price

of hogs at Chicago for the week cnd:-d March 12 was $9.39, the highest weekly

average at that market since late October.


BACKGROUND.- From lid-Augrst through Novembrr 1937 hog prices
d'.clined from about $13 to "., one of the greate-st declines
on record for tlh period. This drop in price, s reflected:
(1) The; mch 1: r-than-us.ul seasonal increase of sla.-. ter
supplies of hogs in the fall and early winter; (2) the w,..1. ni-
in consumer drrmand for mei .ts end lard since late simmi r; (3)
tlhe wIak storage dcre.nd for he- products, which in turn reflected
partly the prospects for larger slaughter supplies of hc in the
spring and sur.mer of this yc-:_' then a year Garliecr; iand (4) the
much lrg-r supplies of cottonseed oil fvail:blc from the record
cotton cro. of 1997. rriccs in Lcmber :end eAirly January
continue d near., tie level r eched in late Nov b-b-r, :;s hos market-
ingrs increased further.

Hog prices advance in February

Prices of ho,-s rose oalmno stredily from lat, J' nu : to mid-I1arch as
sl-aughter supplies w ire reduced. Tihe ver--E price of rors it. Chicago for
the wK -k ended Pr'Ich 12 was 9.59, t!-e hi l'hst weekly av rc at that market
sinco l-,te Octob:r. The addv ac in ric's during the' "t onth h.s b-en
some.:h-i: greater for h'avy ho;s-o than for 'i hocs. .And th e resent spread
butween prices of light and hP.-vy hoos is not nuch wider than usual, wihrcas
in December anrc Jc ..;- it was considrrably -rnatter than avere.

Prices per 100 pounds of '.- ; at ChicEao, by weight groups, ified

: Lii;gt : M" dium : vy :Avcrge pric-
Y:er "nd :wolght, 1 :- :weight, 220- :weight, : rickr nd si-: r
month : 200 lb. : 50 lb. : 7b0 lb. : iur ____
: Dollars oolls Doll ris o ll. rs

F~b. ..........: 10.18 1.24 10.14 0.I
ec. ......... : 8.26 .07 7 59.
Jan. ..........: 3.52 0.09 7.?4 7.91
Flb. .. ...... : .82 8. 54 7.98

'' ek ended-
... : 9 ., 6 '" 9 .


- 2 -


Hog slaughter reduced in February

Inspected hog slaughter in February totaled ?2,33,000 head, which
was 33 percent less than in January and slightly less than in February last
year. When allowance is made for the fewer number of market days in February,
slaughter in that month was 27 percent smaller than in January. It nov aopears
that the bulk of thr 1937 spring pigs have been marketed, and r ports indicate
that receipts in recent weeks have included an increasing number of fall pigs.

Average weights continue heavy

Average w`ights of ho-s marketed continued heavy during February; the
average weights at the seven leading markets for the month was about 240 pounds
compared with about 223 ouinds a year earlier. In January the avor~Fs weight
of all hogs slaughtered under Federal inspection was thi second heaviest for
the month in the 16 years of record. ThP relatively heavy weie~ts of hogs
marketed this season r-flects not only the large f-pd supplies and the high
hoe-corn price ratio but also the mild winter weather in most important feeding
areas which has made possible rather racoid gains.

Corn prices were fairly steady duringT February. The aver--e Price of
No. 3 Yollow corn at Chicago for the month was about 57 cents per bushel which
was slightly lower than in January and only abo t half as high as a year
earlier. Based on Chica-o prices, the hog-corn price ratio in February was
about 14.6 compared with about 9 in February 1937. Th" ratio has been con-
siderably above the lonT-timr average of 11.4 since last September.

Fresh pork prices advance in February

Prices of fresh nork rose sharply during February but prices of cured
pork were steady to slightly lover. Lard prices chan-ed very little, advancing
slightly late in the month. The composite wholesale price of hoe~ products at
New York in February was $18.41 per 100 pounds; although slightly higher than
in January, the composite price was about $2.15 lower than th- average of
February last year.

Storage stocks increase in February

Storage stocks of pork and lard on M'rch 1 A'ere larger than a month
earlier but they we're much smaller than stocks on hand on March 1 last year.
Total pork stocks on March 1, amounting to 582 million pounds, were nearly
200 million pounds smaller than a year earli r. The increase in pork stocks
from the beginning of the storaee season November 1, 1937, to March 1, 1938,
amounted to about 316 million pounds, or about 100 million pounds less than
the increase during? th- same period a year earlier. The smaller storaee
accumulation this year than last reflects partly the smaller slaughter
supolies of hogs from October through F-brr-i- than in the same period of
1936-37 and also the weaker storaai demand. Total stocks of lard on March 1 -

HS-17 4 -

117 million pounds w-"r larger than a month -arli-r bit about 85 million
pounds smaller than on March 1, 1977.

Stor :eo holdin-s of rork ard lart' on th- first of thP month,
Octobpr-March, avcra-" 192i-33,annul 193C6-37 and 1937-3'


: 5-y'r av-ra-e 1: I -7 : 19i 7-
:129-3o0 to l3LLh_ .__._ : t' -7-3
Pork 1 Lard Pork Lr. Pork Lard





7 P

Mil. lb.


2' -'_

28 3
5 54
I/ 532



Pork and lord exports in Janu ar lar
Exorts of nork1 and lard in Januarv worn soet'r-at srn-] l.r -han in
D-c-mbpr, bt i t-rv w=ro much lare-r than in J'nu-nr- of last y ,r. Lrd
xports in Jani::rry, tontlin- slightly mor- than 20 million Pou'Ci '- r-
mort th'n doubl- thos- of Jnuarv' q1 37. N.-arlr 12 million pounds of th
JanuarST lrl "xcorts w :-r c ronsi-n-c to C-;0t' Brit in an, a t)u9 6 million
pound~a- wr shiincr: to Ca'll. Pork -xport in Jtanuar amounted to abnit
6.7 million poinds r< -. rf 'it. 5 million r un? in Jan-zr.- lart roar.

Por]: imcorti r~I'u^d in rc'nt month?

Impnorts rf oork into +ho Uni1+'! Stt't s n JPnn;ry to ld only tbout
3.x million Dounrs conrnr:-d -ith ".3 nillion IO I(n' : y:' r 1rlir. Sinr.
Octobnr, im rts of toork h'ri- d- diin i conridirr:; l l rIrk xcrits aV
incros-ra In th' v 7) or 4 months or- Sr. xort hr:1,"- oxc 3: ?d ijmprts
rhi l in ms'. of tl, first month.i of 1 '7 i-ort f rork 'or-' larnf.r thin
"xoorts. The d,'crs o- in irnorts ini ti' iFncrS i xrr in t h' past
fwr m)ntis rrob:t Ul:. has b-'n brou ht at' ,t i.y r d~t-.- ] in pric-s of
ho:-s .ind h .T r. ce in 'hi: coin+.Vy th-n in fir''n cn ri s. An
imno rt fcnt f ctor n' rb'rzt it: to thti: ~ dro in c:rtic s in th "ni- d St-t s,
of ois' i.:S bhon th 1r-- in'cr-c in s' irrli.' if h s since last
A2'.st .


1J ar.


1i/ Pr a liminary


BACKGRO!I1TD.- In the February issue of this
repot the following conclusions with respect
to the outlo )k for suDpplies ;and prices of hogs
for the remainder of the 1937-33 marketing year
were stated: (i) Slaughter siuplies of hogs
during the remainder of the marketing year end-
ing September 30, will be considerably larger
than those of a year earlier. Most of this
increase in nmrketing-s probably will occur dur-
ing the period from May through Septemner;
(2) Ho.; prices are expected to decline during
the late spring and early smunner as h-g markot-
ings increase seasonally; (3) The aver":-e price
of ho.'s for the suraer season (!t-t through
September) prbao3ly will be considerably lovwr
then the ayer, -.: of about $11.15 last summer.

Larger ho nu- .. r- to be reflected in increased mnrketimns

The num-ber of hoa~s on farms in the United States on Jcnuarry 1 was
estimated to be about 44.4 -'illion hear, or pbt3ut 1.5 million hea-d larger
than a year earlier. early all of the increase was in the Corn Belt States.
Ordinarily the change in the nunmer of hoes on farms is a fairly ,oold incli-
cation of the cha-nge in the h3og rarketin-.s from year to year for the period
January throuCh September. The nu-mber on farms on J-nuary 1, this year,
therefore, indicates that narketin from January through September 193S will
be materially larger than a year earlier.

Number of ho s on farns, by .geographic .divisions, January 1,

Yer Other United
Year East e st : Total Stntes States
S o : '2 n' .i-.' T o n1

1932..........: 12,559 29,792 42,351 l6,95 59,301
1933.........: 14,716 23,695 43,411 18,716 62,127
1934.........: 14,209 26,775 41,067 17,554 53,621
1935.........: 9,921 14,616 24,537 14,467 39,004
1936..........: 11,069 16,933 23,052 14,755 42,637
1937.........: ll,569 14,674 26,643 16,305 42,5c4
193s L/ .....: 12,137 15,79 25,016 16,402 44,413

i/ Preliminary.


Another factor indic ting larger marketin-s 'uring the syrin- and
sunner than a year earlier is the prJspCct for a nore normal market movement
of fall pi than last year. Thi 1937 fall pie crop was slightly smaller
than that of 1936. A fairly lr;te nu, ber of 1-36 fall pi;-;s, however, were
held for finishing on new crop ,grins -nod n-rketeft. rfter Sptecr 1937.
But this year it is e:qpected thrt the b-ulk of tha 1)37 fall pings will be
marketed in the late ; -rin:: andi sunner. It is probable, therefore, that
inspected hos :lr L '-r arin7 the remainder of the marketing year (March
through Septemn er) will exceed that of a : r earlier by' n.Kout 2 million
head. Most of this increase probably will occur after April. Such an in-
crease in anarkotinrs rs -or seems probable, would rut in total inspected
slugrhter for 137-35 of a'b ut 3'4 million hea or .bolt the saoe ,s that of

It sihuld be noted, however, that inric-.ti ns with respect t) h)7
sl'-u-hter f:r the re-indrer cf the current ho.- marketing: ~rar are sonewh-at
conflicting. In i:ost years when ythe ho- corn price ratio has 1een -btve
averg;,o during 'the fall rnd winter, -s oas T-en the case this year, ho's have
been fed longer perioLs to henvy :'ei -ts. This has resultel' in the C'ctober-
Decemnbor pioportibin of the total Alr.' htcr f' r thie :.irketin~ ye;r being
relatively o:rall., a4sully vr-ir.- fror. 24 to 27 p-rcent of the total. In the
Octtoonr--Deccier -perid of the ;resent n-.rkcti:: year inspe-ctod hoa slaughter
was na -rly 10 :illii;n a .... If inspectcl siur-ahtir in that noeriod this year
should reprerrt a re-latively srall pro ortimn of the total for the year -
aboft 27 ;r 2 percent for exa;pl, the y-arly total wa ,l be between 36 and
37 nillion hUd instead 1 if the 34 million hea indicated in the
para-raph. int in view of the total i- cr p in 1S37, the sl -:~1.?r in
January, and Fcb rary, and the estirn-tc nun-or of ho 's in :ar;T on January 1,
193', it does not seen probable that inspected sl .-:hter f.or the entire year
1937-3' will be Iar :er than 34 million head. One reason for the probability
that slou~:hter in the Octob'jr-Decorber period of 1937 will not represent a
relatively a:..ll nro nrtim of the total for the entire year 1J37-3' is the
fact tiht r:i.u.:hter supplies in that period inclu.'ed a ruch lr-rer than usa-l
pr::po-tion of h)'os fr,:- tle -i7 crop of the procedin, year.

Seasonal i' ".,-: r. in hi.o A arketin -s exnectosc in the Irte __rin.

In the past nmnth ho;; 3lrketin s hav e been reduced some:vhat, -:: it
appears that the bulk of the 1i37 sprin,-i pi:s have been rmrketed. A con-
sil--rable increanes in r.arketin- fro- present levels pr.Kbaly will jccur with-
in th-. next 3 :..nths :is the mroveont of fall .-eto unicr w-y in lar -
voilune. After -.i s'. ner, however, it is expected that there will 1:e some
se-;onal reduction in market .',lies of ho -a, but s l tne la te sunner
will I larer th thathe sr all :iarkctin.-s a year earlier. :- r' t in.-s during;
the s ', of c:lrse, will tbe ffiectc to.D en extent by the prospects for
feo. croap production this year. ?' ble fee cr pr): ts pro' bly w ald
'caase a lar-- ni.usbor jf 'w)s to T retained for t,- f- 11 fl rr:w, thoer"
reduci':.- surmnn:r ar etin s. r(n the ot* er ha d, 1unf--or in I r :poots and
dr a. .t ca nliti ns w-. ol result in consi cr l.l li'.o;i'tion of both sows and

-6 -



Larger p153 sp ring ji cro expected

in view, of hirTh ho;-corn price ratio during the past 6 months !,nd the
present low level of ho: production" in r.n- areas, it is exocctod that the
193' spring pi- cropr will be larger than that of 1937. The increase in the
number of s ews to farrow this spring over a yea r earlier probably will be
at least as lar -e as the indication of 5 percent given in the Dece-ner 1937
pig crop report. The l.r-er farrow:!" -. this spring will rean that marketings
of --s in the first half (October March) of the 1931-39 market' = year
will be larger than in the first hal f f 1937-3Z.

nF-.l:nvs in ho_- prices expected in late sIv' -

Changes in hog prices during the sprinE-and summer of this year prob-
ably will be more nearly nominal than they were in the rore period last year,
when prices rose almost steadily fror: nil-May to rsi,-Auu-st. Inasmuch as a
seasonal increase in marketinr-s '-ithin the next 3 months is probable, it is
expected that hog prices will decline duringg the lDte spring and early summer.
Some recovery in prices may occur after midsuormrer, as supplies are reduced
seasonally in the late summer. Any rise at that tine, however, may be limited
by continued weak consumer for enats which is in iurospect. Unless
there is a considerable improvement in business activity r-nd in consumer demand
within the next 6 months, which oes n:)t secn likely, the rise in prices in
the.late summer wilL be much'less thon the marked advance which occurred in
July and August last summer. It is possible that the peak in hog prices
reached this spring also will be the pe-;k for the entire year 1933.

As compared with a year earlier, the ho- situation cOrinr the remainder
of the present marketing year, up to September 30, 1 w'*7, will be influenced
by: (1) A weaker consumer demand for meats; (2) larger hog marketing, rnd
(3) smaller storage supplies. The smaller storage stocks of p:rk and lard
now on hand will offset in considerable part the larger hog marketings ex-
pected for the remainder of the year. The decrease in storage hol.i:..- on
March 1 from those of a year earlier is equivalent to the products obtainable
from about 1.7 million hours of pvera-e market weight. It doos not now seen
probable that the increase in marketings for the remainder of the year will be
greatly in excess of this fi- r.-.


Prices of hogs and i:., nrorducts, specified periods


:Feb. :Jan.
: Unit :1 :1938

: Dol.
Aver -.-- price: : per
Seven markets .......... :100 lb. 9.88
Chicago ................ : do. :10.08
U. S. average price rec'd:
by farmers .............: do. : 9.19
Prices of .- products,
Loins, 8-10 lb. ......: do. :19.81
Hams,smoked, rg.No. 1,:
10-12 lb. .............: do. ::.45
Bacon,smoked,No. 1,
dry cured, 6-8 lb. ..: do. :27.59
Lard,refined,H.W.tubs.: do. :13.2.0
Average price of i-l. 3 : Cts.
Yellow corn, Chicago ...:per lb. 111
Hog-corn price ratio: 2/ :
Chicago ................: Bu. : 9.1
North Central States ...: do. : 9.0
Proportion of packing
sows in total packer
and shipper purchases,
seven markets 3/ .......: Pct. : 4.0
Average weight at seven
arkE t s ................: Lb. :


7.81 8.16
7.91 8.33

7.59 7.74

15.45 16.95

27.69 27.38
10.06 10.06

Oct.-Sept. : Oct.-Feb.
:Avera :
:1928-29: 19': -: 16'-7 -: 1 .' :1937-
: to : 36 : 37 : 37 : 38
:192. .-5S: : : :

1/ 9.64 10.28
6.99 9.90 10.49

9.62 8.39
9.86 8.56

6.48 9.15 9.66 9.12 8.18

17.07 21.21 22.29 18.39 17.77

20.31 26.58 24.65 25.41 :-..74

23.71 30.96 28.58 27.36 28.84
9.68 12.65 13.13 13.':) 10.66

59 57 62 74 115 108 58

13.3 14.6
15.8 16.8

3.0 3.0

240 259

11.6 14.1 9.2 9.1 14.7
12.9 15.9 9.5 9.3 17.5

16.0 15.0 6.0 7.0

1/ 241 231


I/ Not available.
2/ Number of bushels of corn equivalent in value to 100 pounds of live !..s.
5/ Monthly fi r.:. computed from v:wel:ly avcratcs.


- 8 -

- 9 -

Supplies of hogs and hog products, specified periods



S : Oct.- Seet. : Oct.-Jan.

Dec.: Jan. :! 3-.9: 1935-: 1936-: 1936-: 1937-
1937: 1938: to : 36 : 37 : 37 : 38
S: 1932-33: : __

Hog slaughter under
Federal inspection:
Number slaughtered
Live weight:
Average .......
Total .........

Dressed weight:-
Average ......
Total .........
Yield of lard per
100 pounds live
weight of hogs ..
Production of lard

Apparent consumption:
Pork, incl.lard 2/:
Lard ............

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

sand :3,519

: Pound
:Mil. 1.

:il. lb.:

: Pound







3,95S 4,201 46,363

229 234 231
906 933 10,723

172 177 175
681 742 ,o69

12.4 12.9 15.2
112 127 1,630

545 521 7,171 5,124
70 62 961 712


31,022 34,142 15,194 14,165

232 221 214 229
7,191 7,538 3,422 3,240

175 164
5,402 5,586


12.1 10.9 11.5
870 833 3I2


69 59
101 107







Imports of pork 3/ : do. :

6 5 4 6 32 72 19 20

Proportion of sows in:
inspected slaughter :
4/ ...t........... :Percent: 48.0

44.8 45.4 51.2

52.0 51.1 49.4 47.5

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



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