2021 Sow Slaughter Among Highest in Last Decade


By Jennifer Shike, FarmJournal's Pork

January 4, 2022


A flattening of the U.S. swine breeding herd in 2021 is supported by the continued pace of sow slaughter, analysts said in the Daily Livestock Report.


Year-to-date weekly sow slaughter through the weekend of Dec. 18, 2021, totaled nearly 3.1 million head, down 5.8% from the same period in 2020, but up 3.7% from 2019. In 2020, sow slaughter totaled 3.3 million head, the highest level since 2008 (3.5 million head). Although 2021 was down from 2020, the pace was still among the highest in the last decade, analysts said.


“Part of the equation into sow slaughter are sow prices,” said Len Steiner of Steiner Consulting Group.


The annual average sow price (450 to 499 pounds, negotiated purchase, live basis) averaged just over $67 per hundredweight (cwt.), which is more than double (136%) the price in 2020 and the highest price since 2014 ($76.76), Steiner said...


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