What a difference a week makes. Pork belly prices have dropped 34 percent to $92.16 per hundredweight from $139 per hundredweight just a week ago. Analysts have expected prices would come down from the lofty levels experienced earlier this summer.

“Many analysts, us included, were amazed by the sharp run-up in belly prices this summer and fall and thought that pork bellies were running on borrowed time,” say Steve Meyer and Len Steiner in the CME Daily Livestock report. “It appears that the market was artificially high for too long and now better reflects that dynamic for this time of year.”

Pork cutout prices have also come back to more normal levels. “Seasonality has finally caught up with the pork market,” say Meyer and Steiner. “It appears that this decline in belly prices, which all kind of expected, has accounted for almost the entire decline in the value of the cutout.”

The declining prices of bellies as well as cutout have led to the continuing decline in lean hog futures. The nearby October hog futures contract closed Thursday at $74.525, down almost 500 points since mid September.

Source: CME Daily Livestock Report.