Frozen Meat Supplies Show Growth In January

Total red meat supplies in freezers on Jan. 31 were up about 6% from the previous month but were down about 3% from last year, according to the USDA’s monthly Cold Storage report Tuesday.

The report also said total frozen poultry supplies were up about 11% from the previous month but down about 10% from a year ago.




Total pounds of beef in freezers, at 526.435 million pounds, were up 19.312 million pounds, or 3.81%, from 507.123 million the previous month and up 7.090 million, or 1.37%, from 519.345 million last year.

Of that, 483.381 million pounds, were labeled “boneless” beef stocks, up 15.452 million, or 3.30%, from 467.929 million a month earlier and up 2.155 million, or 0.45%, from 481.226 million a year ago.

The rest of the beef in cold storage was “beef cuts,” which amounted to 43.054 million pounds, up 3.860 million or 9.85%, from 39.194 million a month ago and up 4.926 million, or 12.9%, from 38.128 million a year ago.




Total frozen pork supplies were 428.498 million pounds, up 32.037 million, or 8.08%, from 396.461 million the previous month but down 29.010 million, or 6.34%, from 457.508 million last year.

Stocks of pork bellies, at 44.607 million pounds, were up 6.538 million, or 17.2%, from 38.069 million last month and up 13.375 million, or 42.8%, from 31.232 million last year.

Frozen hams amounted to 73.645 million pounds of the total pork, up 12.291 million, or 20.0%, from 61,354 million at the end of December but down 10.563 million, or 12.5%, from 84.208 million a year earlier.

Pork loins in cold storage totaled 36.328 million pounds, down 323,000, or 0.88%, from 36.651 million a month earlier and down 3.916 million, or 9.73%, from 40.244 million a year earlier.




Total stocks of chicken on Jan. 31 were 764.024 million pounds, up 21.045 million, or 2.83%, from 742.979 million the previous month but down 53.294 million, or 6.52%, from 817.318 million last year.

Whole chickens totaled 13.516 million pounds, up 1.285 million, or 10.5%, from 12.231 million a month ago but down 636,000, or 4.49%, from 14.152 million a year ago.

Chicken breasts in cold storage totaled 153.538 million pounds, up 380,000, or 0.25%, from 153.158 million in December but down 85.750 million, or 35.8%, from 239.288 million a year ago.

Total pounds of turkey in freezers, at 243.848 million pounds, were up 47% from 165.754 million last month but down 19% from 301.409 million Jan. 31, 2021.




The USDA reported formula and contract base prices for live FOB steers and heifers this week ranged from $142.61 to $144.23 per cwt, compared with last week’s range of $140.55 to $143.00.  FOB dressed steers and heifers went for $221.99 to $224.11 per cwt, versus $218.70 to $224.02.

The USDA choice cutout Tuesday was down $2.45 per cwt at $261.64, while select was up $1.80 at $263.64.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $2.00 from $3.22 with 94 loads of fabricated product and 22 loads of trimmings and grinds sold into the spot market.

The USDA reported that basis bids for corn from feeders in the Southern Plains were down $0.05 at $1.15 to $1.25 a bushel over the Mar futures and for southwest Kansas were unchanged at $0.20 over Mar, which settled at $6.74 3/4 a bushel, up $0.20 1/2.

No contracts were tendered for delivery against Feb on Tuesday.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Monday was $162.13 per cwt up $0.10.  This compares with Tuesday’s Mar contract settlement of $164.22 per cwt, down $1.20.