There is a shrinking pig population in US. Since September 2020, pig farmers have been reducing their number of animals. This is reflected in falling slaughter numbers and rising meat prices. On the futures market, the pig meat quotation for the month of July is currently 2.29 USD .
According to the periodic figures of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), 74.77 million pigs were still kept in the US on March 1, 2021. This is a decrease of about 1.4 million animals (-1.8 percent) compared to 1 March 2020. This downward trend is taking place across the board. The number of piglets fell by 1.3 percent to 21.29 million. The number of suckling pigs fell by 1.2 percent and the fattening pigs by 2.5 percent to 28.15 million. The herd decreased by 2.5 percent to 6.22 million. The USDA expects 6.11 million sows to be shed in the period from December 2020 to May 2021. This is 1.7 percent less than in the same period last year. The pitch size is also decreasing. In the most recent period, from December 2020 to February 2021, the average litter size was 10.94 live piglets. This was 0.5% lower than in the same period last year.
According to ISN, the decreasing number of pigs also has a direct impact on meat production and meat prices. Although the USDA initially predicted an increase in pig meat production from 1% to over 13 million tonnes this year. However, several analysts question this. They refer to the pig slaughter in the first eleven weeks of 2021. It was 4 percent below the year-on-year average. In addition, more sows were slaughtered. Furthermore, the stock of pork in the cold stores decreased by 25 percent. In addition, the rates of pigs for slaughter show a rapid increase. For example, the July contract for slaughter pigs was traded in Chicago for 2.29 USD/kg.