Livestock Marketing Information Center

Current Situation and Analysis
Last Updated: 3/23/2018
U.S. PORK PRODUCTION CONTINUES UPTREND

As shown in the latest Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS), the March 1st U.S. hogs and pigs count was 72.9 million animals, which was a year-over-year increase of 3.1%. The breeding herd has increased rather steadily since 2010 and was the largest as of March 1 since 2008. Pigs weaned per litter continued its long-term uptrend reaching 10.58 pigs during the December 1, 2017, through February 28, 2018, timeframe. That was an increase of 1.4% compared to a year ago.


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PROSPECTIVE PLANTINGS

USDA-NASS released the Prospective Planting last week detailing the intentions of crop farmer regarding principle crop plantings for this year. Principle Crop acres, which includes corn, sorghum, oats, barley, rye, winter wheat, Durum wheat, other spring wheat, rice, soybeans, peanuts, sunflower, cotton, dry beans, potatoes, sugar beets, canola, and proso millet, are estimated to be down 1.2 million acres this year. That is the lowest principle crop acreage since 2011. Planting intentions are down across the U.S. and are geographically diverse.


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BUILDING FROZEN CHICKEN STOCKS MAY DAMPEN PRODUCTION GROWTH

Frozen inventories of chicken increased from January to February by the largest amount in at least ten years, per the USDA-NASS Cold Storage report. Breast and breast meat inventories were up 6% from a year earlier at the end of February while leg quarters stocks were down 25%. Chicken classified as “other” was up 40% and accounted for over 40% of the total inventory. Paws and feet inventories, the delicacy of the Far East, were twice the size of a year ago, but only 3% of the total frozen tonnage.


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