Things to Consider….
In the latest report US Cold Storage reported pork stocks at 460.1 million pounds for August, which is down 4.9 million pounds or -1.0% under last year. The latest stocks reported were up +4.0% or 17.7 million pounds from July, largely due to the seasonal climb of hams in storage. For reference, total pork in cold storage for July was revised lower from 443.1 to 442.4 million pounds.
Total hams in cold storage rose 33.1 million pounds or +21.7% from last reported, with bone-ins up twice as much as the boneless variety. Hams in cold storage typically climb from March through September, and compared to year ago levels are +29.0% or up 41.8 million pounds. Other categories reported more modest increases from the levels recorded in July, such as butts which were up 1.9 million pounds or +16.5% higher and trimmings which climbed +3.8% or 1.4 million pounds higher. Bone-in picnics were up +17.0% or 785 thousand pounds higher, while total loins climbed +1.5% or 467 thousand pounds.
Offsetting a good portion of the overall increases were significant declines in bellies and spare-ribs as well as other, variety and unclassified pork categories. Bellies in cold storage dropped 10.3 million pounds or -37.0% from July levels, bringing current stocks 13.6 million pounds or -43.7% under year ago levels. Spare-ribs declined 4.7 million pounds or -7.7% for August, with ribs -9.8% or 6.1 million pounds under last year. Other Pork declined 3.3 million pounds or -6.3% from July, down -7.8% or 4.2 million pounds from last year.