Frozen Red Meat, Poultry Stocks Mixed

Total red meat supplies in freezers Dec. 31 were up about 1% from the previous month but down about 6% from last year, said the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service in its monthly Cold Storage report Monday.

Total pounds of beef in freezers were up about 3% from the previous month but down about 6% from last year.

Frozen pork supplies were down about 1% from the previous month and down about 4% from last year.  Stocks of pork bellies were up about 57% from last month and up about 29% from last year.

Total frozen poultry supplies on Dec. 31 were up about 3% from the previous month but down about 16% from a year ago.  Total stocks of chicken were down slightly from the previous month and down about 14% from last year.  Total pounds of turkey in freezers were up about 22% from last month but down about 235 from Dec. 31, 2020.

 

BEEF STOCKS MIXED

 

The total volume of beef in US freezers at the end of December was 503.792 million pounds, up 13.378 million, or 2.73%, from 490.414 million a month earlier but down 32.112 million, or 5.99%, from 535.904 million a year earlier.

Of that, 464.345 million pounds were classed as “boneless” beef, up 12.706 million, or 2.81%, from 451.639 million a month earlier but down 34.961 million, or 7.00%, from 499.306 million a year earlier.

Also included in the total beef stocks were 39.447 million pounds of “beef cuts,” up 672,000, or 1.73%, from 38.775 million a month earlier and up 2.849 million, or 7.78%, from 36.598 million a year earlier.

 

PORK STOCKS DECLINE

 

Total pork stocks in cold storage on Dec. 31 were 398.947 million pounds, down 3.242 million, or 0.81%, from 402.189 million a month earlier and down 16.988 million, or 4.08%, from 415.935 million a year earlier.

Of that, 39.496 million pounds were pork bellies, up 4.272 million, or 16.9%, from 25.224 million a month earlier and up 8.781 million, or 28.6%, from 30.715 million a year earlier.

Hams in cold storage totaled 63.833 million pounds, down 12.955 million, or 16.9%, from 76.788 million a month earlier but up 10.158 million, or 18.9%, from 53.675 million a year earlier.

Pork loins on ice Dec. 31 totaled 36.096 million pounds, down 2.426 million, or 6.30%, from 38.522 million a month earlier and down 2.165 million, or 5.66%, from 38.261 million a year ago.

 

CHICKEN STOCKS DOWN

 

Total chicken in cold storage came to 741.745 million pounds, down 14.116 million, or 1.87%, from 755.861 million a month earlier and down 121.691 million, or 14.1%, from 863.436 million a year earlier.

 

CATTLE, BEEF RECAP

 

The USDA reported formula and contract base prices for live FOB steers and heifers this week ranged from $138.00 to $139.41 per cwt, compared with last week’s range of $137.18 to $141.00.  FOB dressed steers and heifers went for $215.59 to $216.12 per cwt, versus $212.87 to $216.93.

The USDA choice cutout Monday was up $1.09 per cwt at $293.50, while select was up $2.46 at $284.79.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $8.71 from $10.08 with 68 loads of fabricated product and 12 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 steady to down $0.05 at $1.40 to $1.65 a bushel over the Mar futures and for southwest Kansas were unchanged at $0.35 over Mar, which settled at $6.21 a bushel, up $0.04 3/4.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Friday was $160.46 per cwt down $0.64.  This compares with Monday’s Jan contract settlement of $158.47 per cwt, down $1.80.