Analyst: Pork demand has never been better

A livestock analyst says the demand for U.S. pork has never been better.

Dennis Smith, a broker with Chicago-based Archer Financial Services, says despite record pork production, frozen pork stocks are below year-ago levels and most pork cuts are trading at price levels above the previous two years.

Smith says in addition to strong exports, favorable retail prices have bolstered pork demand.

“One thing is just the fairly stable price of pork at reasonable, low price levels,” Smith says. “You might say it’s near the historical low half of the price range as compared to beef, which of course is quite a bit more expensive.”

The demand for pork bellies, which are used to make bacon, remains very strong. Bacon prices have been rising, but Smith doesn’t foresee a fall-off in demand. He says the fast-food industry has created a much more constant demand for bacon.

“More widespread use of bacon at the fast restaurant level, including the all-day breakfast menu and the use of bacon on burgers,” he says.

Smith thinks the price of pork bellies this summer could climb to all-time highs, despite record large pork production.

AUDIO: Dennis Smith

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