Prepared by Pork Checkoff on October 25, 2021
 
Highlights:
 
– The supply of pork in cold storage at the end of September was 466.4 million pounds, only slightly higher than a year ago and 20% lower than a year ago.
 
– Sow slaughter has declined in each of the last six months, suggesting that the breeding herd liquidation that started in early 2020 may have come to an end.
 
– Pork slaughter continues to run about 3% below last year but we think weights have increased at a faster pace than normal, bolstering production. 
 
– There continues to be a wide disparity between bone-in and boneless products, reflecting the limited labor supply and high labor costs. Boneless ham prices are now trading about 4x higher than the price of bone-in hams, when normally the multiple would be around 2.
 
– Belly prices were also lower last week, which is not unusual for this time of year. Increasing pork supplies and a slowdown in retail demand tends to pressure belly prices this time of year. Belly freezer inventory at the end of September was the lowest on record, which will continue to support belly prices in the next three months.
 
– Pork trim prices have also pulled back due to softer seasonal demand and lower prices for competing products. 
 
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Pork Prices Decline On Weaker Exports, Demand Rationing Prices