Pork Panic: Bacon reserves at a 50 year low


Sliced bacon is displayed for sale at a market in Washington, Thursday, April 24, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The country’s bacon reserves are at the lowest level in more than half a century.

The demand for bacon is outpacing the supply and pig farmers just can’t keep up with the world’s appetite for it.

According to the Ohio Pork Board, the U.S. inventory of frozen pork belly is 17.8 million pounds, the lowest since 1957. That’s a decrease of 35.6 million pounds from 2016.

“Today’s pig farmers are setting historic records by producing more pigs than ever,” said Rich Deaton, President, Ohio Pork Council. “Yet our reserves are still depleting.”

The Ohio Pork Council attributes the declining inventory to increased demand for US pork products, especially pork belly. The demand is worldwide, with hog farmers exporting 26% of total production.

Analysts expect a continued rise in pork belly prices, which could lead to a rise in bacon prices.

The commodity price of pork belly has risen 20 percent in the first three weeks of January.

“While bacon may become more expensive for consumers, rest assured the pork industry will not run out of supply,” said Deaton. “Ohio farmers will continue to work hard to ensure consumers receive the products they crave.”

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