Pork Profit Maximizer – Retail Edition

Highlights

Pork disappearance was higher than a year ago in April, in part because of the calendar discrepancy but also because producers had to push more pork through domestic channels. Per capita pork disappearance in April, on a carcass wt. basis calculates to 5.04 pounds per person, 5.8% higher than a year ago. Adjusting for the extra day gives us a 0.8% increase. Through the first four months of the year, pork production increased by 389 million pounds (+4.6%). Exports were also higher by 169 million pounds (+8.9%) while imports were up 18 million pounds (+4.9%). Different from beef, we started the year with more pork in cold storage so pork did not have the benefit of lower inventories that beef did. After adjusting for population and freezer stocks, we calculate that per capita pork disappearance in the first four months of the year was 21.1 pounds per person (cwe), 2.4% higher than a year ago. May started with more pork in the freezer and supplies are expected to run above year-ago through the summer and fall. Which makes that export component so critical, otherwise that per capita disappearance number will just get bigger, implying lower prices needed to get consumers to eat it all.