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Photo of US pig herd recovery continues

Bethan Wilkins

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AHDB Pork Market Intelligence

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US pig herd recovery continues

Home \ Prices & Stats \ News \ 2015 \ January \ US pig herd recovery continues

Latest figures from the US Department of Agriculture confirm that the recovery of the US pig industry from PEDv is well underway. The new figures support earlier forecasts of a significant rise in US pig meat production in 2015, which would mean more competition for the EU on export markets.

Latest figures from the US Department of Agriculture confirm that the recovery of the US pig industry from PEDv is well underway. The new hogs and pigs inventory shows a 2% rise in pig numbers in the year to 1 December 2014. This represents a 7% increase compared with the figures for March and June 2014, when the impact of PEDv was at its height. Among pigs being raised for slaughter, only the heaviest weight category still showed a small fall in numbers, suggesting that the decline in slaughterings recorded since March will soon be over. With heavier carcases supporting pig meat production, US pig prices have now returned to the levels of a year ago, before the reduced supplies began to impact on the market.

US pig herd recovery continues

The US breeding herd increased even more rapidly, with a 4% rise year on year, taking it to its highest level in nearly 6 years. This is reflected in farrowing intentions for the next six months, with the number of litters also expected to be up 4%. This follows a 3% increase in farrowings during September-November. An increase in the number of pigs weaned per litter, to 10.23, meant the pig crop during the three months was up 4% on the year. Productivity remains below the long-term trend, however, as PEDv continues to have some impact. The number of new cases of the disease has begun to rise again since November but is below the level recorded a year ago. Nevertheless, the new figures support earlier forecasts of a significant rise in US pig meat production in 2015, which would mean more competition for the EU on export markets.