It appears that producers remain current on market hog sales. Some have speculated that the current larger than expected runs are due to producers pulling pigs forward.
However, mandatory price reporting data suggests that producers are current in their sales. Beginning with the week ending January 29/30, weighted weekly average carcass weights for all barrows and gilts reported on the LM_HG201 Direct Hog Prior Day report have averaged 213.4, 212.8, 213.0, 212.8, and 213.0 pounds.
This is about as steady on weekly weights as you can get. Included in this data set are sales disruptions in the western corn belt the first week of February due to a snow storm and disruptions in Indiana the last week in February due to a storm.
On the other hand, Iowa and Southern Minnesota live weights (NW_LS720) have risen for the 2week period ending February 26 and are now higher than 2015 weights for the same weekly period. For the week ending February 28, 2015 weights in this report averaged 284.2 while they averaged 284.7 for the week ending February 27, 2016.
The slight rise in weights in this data set is pretty typical for the late winter period and a plateauing of weights can be expected for another 4-6 weeks before they begin their seasonal decline. The decline may occur slightly earlier this year if we continue with the unseasonably warm conditions since many production facilities are still ‘buttoned up’ for cold weather conditions and pigs may experience some decline in daily feed intake if producers don’t respond by getting their facilities opened up for heat relief.