Is It Time to Start Pigging Out on Hogs?

The USDA recently released their quarterly report on the number of hogs available for slaughter, breeding and sowing in the United States. The numbers are showing some improvement over last quarter, with a slight uptick since the previous report. However, the numbers are down overall since the same time last year. That said, some analysts examining the reports say they expect to see the numbers continuing to increase over the coming months due to increased survival rates.

So does that mean you should start adding more hog products to your menus or lowering prices? Well, the answer is a definite maybe…

Down for Now, But Possibly Up Longer Term

The pig population in the United States as of June 1 was 64.4 million head. That’s down 4% from the same date last year, however it is up 1% from March and the numbers look set to continue to rise at a slow, but steady pace.

What it All Means

Right now, Wall Street analysts say that they expect the numbers to continue to rise meaning that there will be a slight glut in the inventory available in the coming months. This should theoretically cause a slight decline in fresh pork prices, meaning better bottom lines for restaurateurs and other food service professionals who use pork and other hog related products extensively in their menu.

So Does This Mean Prices Will Come Down Substantially?

On the one hand, the number of pigs available on the market should increase, theoretically showing a slight decline in prices. On the other hand, the pig population is still at its lowest level since 2007 and the United States is now exporting pork to the Russian market, which means demand should keep up with supply.

The only question is how high the numbers will go. If they go too high, supply will begin to outstrip demand, leading to lower prices. But will that actually happen? As we said, the answer is a definite…maybe.

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: