Weekly Pork Price Summary – Food Service Edition

May 28, 2019

Pork production in April was estimated at 2.269 billion pounds, 5.9% higher than a year ago. But as with beef, the biggest reason for the increase in production is the extra slaughter day in April.  When adjusted for the number of slaughter days, pork production in April was up 1.1% compared to a year ago. Our current forecast is for US pork production in Q2 to increase by 2.7% and it expected to be up 3.9% in Q3. These are some lofty growth numbers on top of record production we saw a year ago. And yet our forecast is for pork prices to be significantly higher than a year ago. All this hinges on one key assumption: China will be a big buyer of US pork in the second half of the year and absorb not only the expected growth in production but also pull more supply from domestic channels. Export data reported to USDA suggests that US packers have committed to sell 122,426 MT of pork to China in the coming months.