The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recent Cold Storage Report showed record reductions of beef and pork, which means demand for the products remains high. At the other end of the spectrum, chicken stocks remain historically high. Total beef in cold storage dropped 38 million pounds in March, the biggest drop in March since back in the 1970s. The 40 million pound drop in boneless frozen beef also set a record for March. Pork also made some historic drops. Bone-in ham stocks dropped by 21 million pounds, the biggest drop in those supplies in 20 years. Overall, frozen pork supplies were down 10 percent compared to March of 2016. Pork Belly stocks were actually up 27 percent from last month, but were still 68 percent lower than last year.
Chicken stocks technically decreased 3 percent from last year, but Daily Livestock Report analyst Len Steiner says, “Those stocks are still high relative to historical norms, which will be a factor limiting industry production and expansion.” Turkey supplies were up 16 percent from March of last year, with the overall number of total frozen poultry supplies 2 percent higher than a year ago.
Source: NAFB News Service