The latest USDA Cold Storage report showed that at the end of August the pork inventory was estimated at 540.0 million pounds, down 0.7% from the previous month and down 7.8% from a year ago, according to the Daily Livestock Report (DLR).

Last year, however, record high slaughter caused inventories to swell at the end of August 2012. Pork inventories still are about 10.2% above the five-year average, says DLR report authors Steve Meyer and Len Steiner.

The decline in the August inventory of 0.7% is normal for this time of year. Also normal for this time of year is the increase in ham inventories, which rose 11% from July. However, ham stocks are now up 28.3% above the five-year average. Ham values have held up well despite the boost in inventories.

Pork belly stocks at 19.1 million pounds were 34.6% above a year ago, but are still about 18.5% below the five-year average. Belly prices have held firm for much of this year.

To read more of this report, log onto www.dailylivestockreport.com