This spring the price of live hogs crashed at a time when prices are usually moving upward. There was no slaughter capacity issue, so the reasons must have been demand related.

“Pork demand appears to have collapsed as fast as we’ve ever seen in March and April of this year, which caused live hog prices to drop like a rock,” says Ron Plain, University of Missouri agricultural economist.

While that certainly doesn’t sound positive, the situation may not be quite the picture of gloom and doom as the spring live-hog price lows might lead you to believe.

“I still don’t think there’s anything fundamentally wrong with pork demand,” says Steve Meyer, National Pork Board director of economics. “There are a couple short-term demand situations working against pork.”

The most frequently cited reason for the hiccup in pork demand and the spring price crash is the Russian ban of U.S. chicken, which sent huge poultry supplies into U.S. retail markets, at very low prices. Meyer also points out that in early May saws a couple weeks of huge pork supplies, which also was negative for pork prices.

“There’s 25 percent more pork, poultry and beef in cold storage than at this time last year,” says Dave Roper, National Pork Producers Council president.

The large supplies of all meat might make for some good deals for the consumer, and some low prices for the producer.