Pork stockpiles in the U.S. stood at 612.7 million pounds, which was 6.7 percent higher on March 31 than the previous year, reports Bloomberg News. Warehouses held 507.9 million pounds of beef, a 14 percent increase over last year and a record high. According to the USDA, the previous high for beef stockpiles was set in 1977.
U.S. commercial pork output in the three months through March 31 totaled 5.858 billion pounds, up 2.4 percent from 2011, government data show. Wholesale pork prices, a gauge of demand, fell 5.8 percent in March, the sixth straight monthly decline, according to the USDA.
“If we see a month-to-month increase, it would signal that demand was poor,” said Dan Vaught, the owner of Vaught Futures Insights, before the report. Consumers may have been deterred by high retail prices, he said.
Boneless ham averaged $3.735 a pound at the supermarket in March, the highest since at least 1991, government data show. Prices are up 5.7 percent from a year ago.