U.S. pork production is expected to falter this week and early next week, reports Reuters. Lagging demand is causing some packers to pull back on hog slaughter runs, even closing some shifts to eleviate supply back ups.
Due to the abundant supply of pork and slowed domestic and export demand, U.S. pork producers are simply supplying more meat than is needed. Six packing plants are expected to be down on Monday, Aug. 3, according to the news service report. As a result, production on that day alone will drop by about 23 percent from the previous week.
Two pork plants, Smithfield Foods plants in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Sioux City, Iowa, were weighing options to close on Friday, July 31. It is unclear if this trend will continue on a week-to-week basis, but packers are looking for ways to improve margins and manage supply. Of course, overuse of this tactic will serve to back up live hogs and eventually add more product weight to the pipeline.
The Reuters report quotes Glenn Grimes, University of Missouri economist, as saying "We are having difficulty selling as much pork as we are producing,"