Farmer's Report

Pork TRENDS - May 29, 2020

Pork market information from the week ending May 22, 2020.

Last week, the USDA estimated that hog slaughter was a reported 2.13 MM hogs, roughly 1.5% higher than previous week and only 8% below last year. Packers are still experiencing labor challenges due to COVID-19.

The USDA released cold-storage (freezer) inventories for the month of April 2020. Total frozen pork inventories were flat compared to March and only down 1% from the previous year.


Prices in the loin complex continued higher. Boneless loins continued to prove strong while the bone-in loins barely increased. Demand for loin products (i.e. pork chops) was undoubtedly strong in the retail channel, as consumers fired up their grills for Memorial Day celebrations. Historically, loin prices hold steady to higher during the transition to early June.


Pork tenderloin prices continued higher due to tight supply and strong demand. Historically, tenderloin prices remain strong during the summer months.


Pork butt prices moved higher despite losing some momentum. Tight supply and strong demand is elevating this market. Historically, pork butt prices correct lower after Memorial Day demand resets.


The rib markets continued higher due to tighter supply and strong demand. The summer months represent peak season for rib products across several channels. Historically, the sparerib markets begin to ease after Memorial Day while the backribs remain more supported.


The belly markets continued to decline. Supply is improving; however, bacon processing capacity is still challenged and possibly hasn’t recovered in-sync with the production of raw materials. It is expected that retail bacon demand may possibly step back as it recalibrates needs post-Memorial Day. Last year at this time, the belly markets moved lower into July.


The ham markets continued to decline. Increasing harvest levels and reduced processor capacity could be limiting growth, according to analysts. The markets have already declined to levels that seem to find support, especially from the export channels. Last year the ham markets moved higher into June.


Pork trimmings reversed course and moved lower. With the recovery of pork production, analysts report that supply levels may be catching up with demand. Historically, trimming prices move higher due to strong demand from the processor channel.


The picnic markets reversed course and moved lower. Historically, both these markets remain strong during the warmer weather months.

The data contained in the Farmer’s Report is provided for informational purposes only, is not tailored to your specific purchasing needs, and is not intended as a substitute for any other publicly-available market data or information. The Farmer’s Report is compiled from the last-received market data provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and/or other market sources, and is subject to change without notice. Nothing herein is the opinion of US Foods®. US Foods neither assumes any legal liability nor makes any warranty or guaranty, either express or implied, regarding the completeness, accuracy or usefulness of this information.