2023 hog markets predicted
For pork producers across the nation, the beginning of the new year will bring a continuation of tight supplies and high prices, according to predictions made by Southern Ag Today, a collaboration of economists from 13 universities, in a Southwest FarmPress article published on Dec. 5.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) September Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report, there were 73,000 total hogs and pigs in the U.S. compared to 74,867 the year before, a decline of 1.4 percent. There were 6,152 breeding hogs reported in 2022 compared to 6,190 the year before, a decline of 0.6 percent and 67,648 market hogs were reported in 2022 compared to 68,677, a decline of 1.5 percent.
“The USDA’s quarterly national inventory report from September indicated about 0.7 percent fewer breeding hogs and farrowings, which likely means a smaller pig crop and fewer market hogs in 2023,” notes Southern Ag Today.
While hog prices in 2022 have been higher than in 2021 for most of the year, they have not translated to enough profitability to generate expansion, and a combination of several factors have contributed to this limited production.
“High feed costs have cut into returns, as they have in the rest of livestock production. Animal disease and difficulties with sow mortality have cut production and increased costs,” Southern Ag Today explains. “Additionally, higher facility production costs have reduced expected investment profits, and higher anticipated future costs and uncertainty due to Proposition 12 have also been cited as reasons for restrained production.”
Southern Ag Today notes pork production in 2022 was about 2.2 percent below pork production in 2021, and in 2023, pork production is on pace for nearly 27.2 billion pounds, which would be the lowest number seen in the U.S. since 2018.
“Wholesale ham prices have been significantly higher than last year since June. Strong ham exports, high turkey prices with hams as a potential substitute and fewer hams in cold storage have pushed prices higher,” Southern Ag Today explains. “Belly prices, while exhibiting their typical volatility, have been lower than last year since April. In October, 40.2 million pounds of bellies were in cold storage compared to only 11.6 million pounds the year before.”
Additionally, USDA forecasts total U.S. per capita pork consumption at 51.3 pounds in 2022 and foresees this number rising to 52.2 pounds in 2023, which would be the first time it has exceeded 52 pounds per person since COVID-19.
Hannah Bugas is the managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to email@example.com.