A bigger-than-expected decline in the US hog herd during the second quarter of 2014 was attributed to the rapid spread of the deadly porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv), the US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) said.
The report also said that declines in herd expansion occurred amid higher hog prices. The data in the report was seen adding to the possibility that hog futures traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange would climb as much as their daily price limit of 3 cents on 30 June.
The USDA report showed the domestic hog herd as of 1 June, 2014, at 95% of the year-ago level, or 62.128 mill. head. The total fell below analysts' expectations of 63.2 mill. head, 97.1% of the 2013 herd.
The domestic breeding herd was 100% of the year-ago level at 5.855 mill. head in the second quarter of 2014. This compared to trade expectations of 5.99 mill., 101.8% of the size of the second quarter 2013 breeding herd, which was 5.884 mill. head.
The 1 June supply of hogs ready for sale to packers was 95% of a year ago at 56.273 mill. head. Analysts had expected a smaller 3.2% decline to 57.31 mill. head.
Analysts had been expecting pigs per litter during the second quarter to be 9.8 head. The USDA data indicated pigs per litter at 9.78 head, or 95% of the 10.31 in the year-ago period.
Source: The US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)