As of December 1, the U.S. inventory of hogs and pigs totaled 74.6 million head. That’s up two percent from last year. The size of the breeding herd is down slightly from the previous quarter, but up two percent from December of last year. The market hog supply is up two percent. Independent analyst Bob Brown says the most uncertain part of the balance sheet is exports. “Think about this, we have shipped as much pork to South America as we did to China this year. That’s a market we didn’t even think about a few years ago.” Brown doesn’t expect 2019 to be a blockbuster, with low feed costs, profitability is still in the cards.
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