Pork carcasses hanging in cooler marina_karkalicheva/iStock/Thinkstock

Red meat supplies down from last year

Stocks of pork bellies 77% lower than in 2016.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest “Cold Storage” report showed that total red meat supplies in freezers on Jan. 31, 2017, were 2% higher than the previous month, at 1.1 billion lb. However, they were down 9% from last year. Reuters reported that both beef and pork in storage came in lower than what analysts had expected.

Total beef in freezers came in at 537.5 million lb., down 5% from the previous month but up 1% from the year prior. Frozen pork supplies totaled 526.7 million lb., up 11% from the previous month but down 16% from last year. Stocks of pork bellies declined sharply from the prior month to 14.014 million lb., which is 22% lower than the previous month and down 77% from last year.

"Call it bullish beef ... (and) slightly bullish pork, as well," one broker told Reuters.

Total frozen poultry supplies on Jan. 31, 2017, were at 1.1 billion lb., up 3% from the previous month and up slightly from a year ago. Total stocks of chicken were 774.9 million lb., 4% lower than the previous month and 6% lower than last year. Turkey stocks in freezers totaled 339.3 million lb., up 22% from last month and up 17% from the same time last year.

Total natural cheese stocks in refrigerated warehouses as of Jan. 31 were 3% higher than the previous month and 5% higher than last year. Butter stocks were up 34% from last month and 16% higher than a year ago.

Total frozen fruit stocks were down 6% from last month but up 24% from a year ago. Total frozen vegetable stocks were down 7% from last month but up 4% from a year ago.

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