Bloomberg News

U.S. Pork Supply Climbs 20% in July From a Year Ago, USDA Says

August 22, 2012

Pork stockpiles in the U.S. climbed 20 percent at the end of July from a year earlier, the government said, amid increased production and slowing demand.

Warehouses held 546.6 million pounds, or 247.9 million metric tons of pork, a record for the month, up from 454.3 million on July 31, 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report. Inventories fell 7.8 percent from the end of June.

Commercial pork output in the first six months of the year was 11.4 billion pounds, up 2.6 percent from the same period a year earlier, government data show. Output probably rose last month from July 2011 as processors slaughtered more animals and at heavier weights, said Bob Brown, an independent market consultant in Edmond, Oklahoma. Wholesale-pork prices fell 3.7 percent in July, the biggest monthly drop since March.

“We did have some concerns about demand,” Rich Nelson, the chief strategist at Allendale Inc. in McHenry, Illinois, said in a telephone interview before the report. “During July, we did have more production.”

Hogs sold for immediate delivery to pork processors plunged 8.2 percent in July, the biggest monthly drop since August 2011. Hog futures for October settlement fell 3.5 percent to 73.2 cents a pound at 12:56 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

As of July 31, stockpiles of pork bellies, which are cured and sliced to make bacon, fell 5.1 percent from a year earlier to 28 million pounds, according to today’s report. Warehouse supplies of ham rose 15 percent from a year ago to 154.6 million pounds.

Chicken-meat inventories at the end of July were 14 percent smaller than a year earlier at 648.6 million pounds, the USDA said. Beef supplies rose 9.8 percent to 455.7 million pounds.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Campbell in Chicago at ecampbell14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net.


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