Pork Profit Maximizer – Food Service Edition

Disruptions caused by Hurricane Florence in North Carolina and one less slaughter day reduced the amount of pork produced in September. The total supply of pork in cold storage at the end of September was estimated to be 588.9 million pounds. Inventories increased 1.3% from August levels compared to a five-year average m/m increase of 3.6%. Last year September inventories jumped 7.4% from August levels.

The current inventory of pork in cold storage is 4.8% smaller than it was last year and 3% smaller than the five-year average. With less pork than expected coming to market and rising prices, it should not be a surprise that the normal inventory build was slow. Market participants will likely view the number as positive going into Q4 when supplies are expected to rapidly increase. Hams are normally a critical item at this time of year as they need to carry the carcass value at a time when loin, shoulder and trim prices seasonally decline. The total inventory of hams in cold storage at the end of September was 214.6 million pounds, 7.5% lower than a year ago and6.2% lower than the five-year average.