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USA: Significant decline in sow numbers by 2023

USA: Significant decline in sow numbers by 2023

Last year, the number of pigs in the United States remained relatively stable. However, the number of sowings has decreased drastically.

In the United States, the number of hogs in December 2023 was about the same as the previous year; However, the herd of cows decreased drastically. According to experts, current economic losses in US hog production and problems with animal health have had a particularly negative impact on the sow population. While the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) expects pork production in the U.S. to increase in 2024, global breeding company Genesis estimates growth will be more cautious, the AJ reports.

According to data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a total of 74.97 million pigs were raised as of December 1, 2023; That was about 15,000 animals twelve months ago. The largest group consists of piglets weighing 23 kilograms with 21.68 million animals. This is followed by young pigs weighing 54 kg with 19.04 million pieces. Both categories have modest inventory declines of 0.5% compared to December 2022. However, the number of pigs weighing 81 kg increased by 0.7% to 14.91 million, and heavier animals increased by 2.4% to 13.24 million.

Fewer but more productive seeds

Compared to the previous year, US farmers significantly reduced their sow numbers, by 205,000 animals or 3.3% to 6.00 million head; This is a nine-year low. According to experts, the reasons for this are the current economic losses in US pig production and unusually high pig mortality due to animal health problems. The number of sows expected to hatch from December 2023 to May 2024 at 5.81 million animals is 1.5% lower than the comparable level of the previous year. However, the decrease in sow population is compensated by higher productivity. From September to November 2023, an average of 11.66 piglets were reared per litter, which was 3.9% higher than the level of the comparable previous year.

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Controversial production forecast

According to preliminary data, US pork production rose nearly 1% to 12.36 million tonnes in the year ending 2023. Production is expected to rise another 1.8% to 12.58 million tons in 2024, according to USDA forecasts in early December. However, Jim Long, managing director of global breeding company Genesis, doubts this. With a financial loss of around 36 euros per animal from farrowing to final fattening, pig herd liquidation is expected to continue in the next few months with at least 8,000 animals per week. Additionally, animal health issues will continue. We expect the U.S. breeding population to decline by an additional 100,000 animals by March 1, 2024. Fewer pigs means fewer pigsLong said. He expects hog prices to be higher in the future than currently indicated because sow numbers are also declining in Canada, Mexico and China.