U.S. Pork Supplies Swell As High Prices Slow Sales

U.S. pork supplies rose 13 per cent in October and posted the largest percentage increase from September in nine years as record-high prices slowed retail sales and increased pork production forced more pork into storage.

The increase reported by the U.S. Agriculture Department on Nov. 22 was far more than some analysts had anticipated.

“I am guessing with record-high pork prices in grocery stores in October, we didn’t move a lot of pork through grocery stores,” said Ron Plain, agricultural economist at the University of Missouri.

The U.S. Agriculture Depar tment repor ted 478.2 million lbs. in warehouses, up sharply from September but down 7.4 per cent from a year ago due to less production.

The few analysts who track pork stocks expected 436 million to 475 million lbs., for an average estimate of 450.3 million.

USDA reported the average retail price of pork in October was a record $3.36 per lb., up from $2.28 a year ago.

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