Cold storage meat supplies continue to ramp upCold storage meat supplies continue to ramp up
Total red meat and poultry in freezers reach largest level since 2002.
August 23, 2016
Total red meat and poultry volume in cold storage at the end of July was the largest since 2002 at 2.419 billion lb., 2.8% higher than last year and 9.7% higher than the five-year average. Burdensome chicken inventory contributed the most to the increase.
Total red meat supplies in freezers increased 3% from the previous month but were 2% lower than last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest “Cold Storage” report.
Total pounds of beef in freezers were 469.3 million lb., up 3% from the previous month and 2% from last year.
“Beef inventories have increased in each of the past two months while normally we see inventories decline by an average of 3% at this time of year,” Len Steiner said in the “Daily Livestock Report.”
Frozen pork supplies totaled 599.9 million lb., up 2% from the previous month but down 5% from last year. Stocks of pork bellies fell 20% to 50.7 million lb. from last month but significantly increased 114% from last year.
“Liquidating 25 million lb. of belly inventories at a time when slaughter is approaching 2.3 million head is a tall task,” Steiner said.
Total frozen poultry supplies on July 31, 2016, were 2% higher than the previous month and 7% higher than a year ago. Total stocks of chicken increased 1% from the month prior to 819.2 million lb., up 7% from last year. Turkey in freezers totaled 530.5 million lb., up 5% from last month and up 7% from July 31, 2015.
Total natural cheese stocks in refrigerated warehouses on July 31, 2016, were 2% higher than the previous month and 10% higher than July 31, 2015. Total natural cheese stocks set a record high for the month of July since the data first were recorded in 1917, USDA noted. Butter stocks were up 2% from last month and up 31% from a year ago.
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