The end of December’s frozen pork belly inventory marked the lowest on record since 1957, according to a recent report by USDA. Frozen pork belly, or where bacon comes from, totaled 17.8 million pounds at the end of 2016, a decrease of 35.6 million pounds from 2015.
In the month of December alone, the drop in total pork inventories totaled 41 million pounds from the end of November.
“Today’s pig farmers are setting historic records by producing more pigs than ever,” said Rich Deaton, President, Ohio Pork Council. “Yet our reserves are still depleting.”
The declining inventory may be a result of increased demand for U.S pork products, especially pork belly, among domestic and foreign consumers. Nationwide, hog farmers now export approximately 26 percent of total productions.
Due to supply and demand, analyst expect a continued rise in pork belly prices, which would lead to a rise in bacon prices. The value of pork belly prices has risen 20 percent in just the first three weeks of January.
“While bacon may become more expensive for consumers, rest assured the pork industry will not run out of supply,” said Deaton. “Ohio farmers will continue to work hard to ensure consumers receive the products they crave.”
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