According to the USDA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report, the U.S. inventory of all hogs and pigs on December 1, 2012 was 66.3 million head. Pig inventory was down slightly from December 1, 2011 and down 2 percent from September 1, 2012.

Pig breeding inventory is at 5.82 million head and was up slightly from 2011 and from the previous quarter. Market hog inventory is at 60.5 million head and was down slightly from 2011 and down 2 percent from last quarter.

The September to November 2012 pig crop was at 29.4 million head, which was up slightly from 2011. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 2.90 million head, down 1 percent from 2011. Sows farrowed during this quarter represented 50 percent of the breeding herd. The average pigs saved per litter was a record high of 10.15 for the September to November period, compared to 10.02 in 2011. Pigs saved per litter by size of operation ranged from 7.60 for operations with 1 to 99 hogs and pigs to 10.20 for operations with more than 5,000 hogs and pigs.

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U.S. hog producers intend to have 2.86 million sows farrow during the December 2012 to February 2013 quarter, up slightly from the actual farrowings during the same period in 2012, and up 1 percent from 2011. Intended farrowings for March to May 2013, at 2.93 million sows, are down 2 percent from 2012, but up slightly from 2011.

The total number of hogs under contract owned by operations with over 5,000 head by contractees accounted for 47 percent of the total U.S. hog inventory, up from 45 percent in 2011.