Total pork inventories at the end of August reported at 440.7 million pounds were 13.5% higher than a year ago, but 4% lower than the five-year average, according to the CME Group’s Daily Livestock Report (DLR) published by Steve Meyer and Len Steiner.

In the last five years, pork stocks on average have declined about 1% from July to August.

However, this August, pork inventories declined 3%, a sign that domestic and export demand remain in good shape.

“Total pork inventories are higher than last year, but this largely reflects the need for larger staging stocks given the mammoth increase in the export business,” the DLR authors write in today’s report. “Some of our work in this area shows a strong relationship between export volume and the level of inventories required to service this business.”

Ham stocks were at 148.8 million pounds at the end of August, 4.7% higher than a year ago and 7.6% higher than the five-year average.

Belly inventories marked their usual seasonal decline into September, with belly stocks at the end of August down 48.7% from the previous month compared to a normal downturn of about 45%.

Inventories of pork loins at the end of August were 22.5 million pounds, 46% higher than a year ago, but probably driven by improvement in export business. Pork loins in the domestic market remain very strong.

The DLR can be accessed at www.dailylivestockreport.com.