Retail pork prices for January through April were up 4.5 percent from the same period in 2000, according to Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain, University of Missouri agricultural economists.

Producers, processors and retailers all reaped the benefits of higher pork prices, while packer margins fell somewhat from a year ago.

Preliminary information indicates pork consumption for the first four months of this year was close to year-ago levels, according to Grimes and Plain. That means demand at the consumer level was up slightly over last year.

The data on frozen stocks supports that conclusion as well. According to USDA’s Cold Storage Report released May 18, frozen pork stocks were down 17 percent from last year. Frozen stocks of bellies were down 4 percent from last month and down 31 percent from April 2000 stocks.

Add it all up and this data all shows retailers are having no trouble moving pork, and that consumers have developed a strong demand for the “other white meat”. While June often sees the summer price top, these positives could add to live hog prices in the future.