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Hog report numbers look bullish but can be deceiving, analyst says

Steve Meyer of Partners for Production Agriculture out of Ames, Iowa, during a Pork Checkoff webinar on Thursday, March 30, the day of the report, noted that almost all of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s numbers were below analyst expectations.

Photo by Erin Ehnle Brown/ Grand Vale Creative (Used with permission)
U.S. producers intend to have 2.99 million sows farrow during the March-May 2022 quarter, down 2% from a year ago.
Erin Ehnle Brown/ Grand Vale Creative
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The March Hogs and Pigs Report fell below expectations from analysts, but one of those analysts questions whether the predictions accurately reflect the market.

Steve Meyer of Partners for Production Agriculture out of Ames, Iowa, during a Pork Checkoff webinar on Thursday, March 30, the day of the report, noted that almost all of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s numbers were below analyst expectations.

“Did that represent the attitude of the futures market? That’s the question,” Meyer said. “I kind of question whether the pre-report survey did represent the market sentiment.”

He said there were only six analysts offering opinions in the pre-report survey, far fewer than in years past.

While he thought the numbers were “bullish across the board,” he said there have been reports that seem bullish, only to see prices go down in the next day of trading and vice versa.

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In midday trading the day after the report, futures prices were down through the October 2022 contract.

Some highlights from the report:

  • The U.S. still has a declining breeding herd, down almost 2% from last year.
  • All hogs and pigs are at 98% of a year ago.
  • Producers intend to have 2.99 million sows farrow during the March-May 2022 quarter, down 2% from a year earlier, and down 5% from the same period two years earlier.

Meyer noted that there were very few and very small revisions in this report.
“We’re kind of through all the year-over-year screwy numbers that had been given us because of coronavirus and pig backups and all those kinds of things,” he said.

Reach Jeff Beach at jbeach@agweek.com or call 701-451-5651 (work) or 859-420-1177.
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