According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a total of 75.65 million pigs were farmed in the United States as of June 1, 2021. This was 1.71 million animals, or 2.2% less than twelve months ago. As of December 2020, the quarterly survey showed a decrease in the number of animals compared to the previous year, and the stock of pigs in all weight classes decreased.
The largest decrease in the herds was related to pigs weighing up to 23 kg. Compared to June 2020, the number of these animals decreased by 2.9% to 21.74 million. In the case of the category weighing up to 54 kg, a decrease of 2.7% was recorded to reach 19.35 million animals. The number of pigs decreased by 1.5% to 28.60 million units. The number of pigs decreased by 96 thousand. of animals increased by 1.5% to 6.23 million. The number of pigs raised in the litter in the period from December 2020 to May 2021 was 10.95 million and was also below the level in the corresponding period of the previous year, by 0.5%. The USDA estimates that the pig population is 3% lower between June and November 2021.
Although stock is low, According to the USDA, pig slaughter increased 1.39 million, or 2.6%, from January to May compared to the same period last year, and pork production increased 3.2% to 5.31 million tons. This was due to the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result of the restrictions imposed in April and May 2020, there have been many slaughterhouse closures or productivity restrictions due to infected workers in the United States.
Throughout the year, the USDA in its June forecast assumes that Pork production will decrease 0.4% compared to 2020 to 12.88 million. This will be the first decline since 2014. At the same time, domestic consumption is seen as weaker due to high prices Thus, exports are expected to increase by 3.7% to 3.43 million tons. However, this may be too optimistic for stagnation of sales in China, even for US suppliers. According to the US Meat Exporting Organization (USMEF), US pork exports in January-April were 4.5% lower than the same period last year.