The latest “Cold Storage” report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service shows the total inventory of beef, pork, chicken and turkey in cold storage on Dec. 31, 2017, at 2.177 billion lb. -- up 2.4% from the same period last year.
USDA reported that total frozen poultry supplies on Dec. 31, 2017, were 1% higher than the previous month and 10% higher than a year ago. Total stocks of chicken were at 886.1 million lb., down 1% from the previous month but 10% above year-ago levels. Turkey in freezers totaled 311 million lb., up 8% from last month and up 12% from Dec. 31, 2016.
According to the report, total red meat supplies in freezers were 1% lower than the previous month and 6% lower than last year. Beef in freezers totaled 489.5 million lb., up 1% from the previous month but down 14% from the year before. Frozen pork supplies were at 491 million lb., down 2% from the previous month but up 3% from a year ago. Stocks of pork bellies were 13% higher than last month and up 121% from the year before, which will likely keep prices lower than those seen in 2017.
Total natural cheese stocks in refrigerated warehouses on Dec. 31, 2017, were up 2% from the previous month and up 7% from Dec. 31, 2016. Butter stocks were 6% higher than last month and 2% higher than a year ago.