Frozen Red Meat Stocks Rising

Total red meat supplies in freezers on Feb. 28 were up about 5% from the previous month and up about 1% from last year, said the USDA’s monthly Cold Storage report Wednesday.

Total pounds of beef in freezers were up about 1% from the previous month and up about 4% from last year.

Frozen pork supplies were up about 11% from the previous month but down 1% from last year.  Stocks of pork bellies were up about 12% from last month and up about 34% from last year.

Total frozen poultry supplies were up about 6% from the previous month but down about 1% from a year ago.  Total chicken stocks were up about 1% from the previous month and up about 2% from last year.

Total pounds of turkey in freezers were up about 21% from last month but down about 8% from last year.




Total pounds of beef in cold storage on Feb. 28 was 532.502 million, up 6.778 million, or 1.29%, from 525.724 million pounds on Jan. 31 and up 20.074 million, or 3.92%, from 512.428 million pounds on Feb. 28, 2021.

Of that, 484.657 million pounds was classed as “boneless” beef, up 1.141 million, or 0.24%, from 483.516 million last month and up 8.836 million, or 1.86%, from 475.821 million last year.

Another 47.845 million pounds of beef was called “boneless cuts,” up 5.637 million, or 1.34%, from 42.208 million a month earlier and up 11.138 million, or 30.3%, from 36.707 million a year earlier.




Total pounds of pork on ice in this month’s report was 480.354 million, up 45.939 million, or 10.6%, from 434.415 million at the end of January but down 3.030 million, or 0.62%, from 483.374 million on Feb. 28, 2021.

Of that, pork bellies accounted for 50.139 million pounds, up 5.432 million, or 12.2%, from 44.707 million a month earlier and up 12.583 million, or 33.5%, from 37.556 million a year earlier.

Hams in freezers totaled 84.249 million pounds, up 9.474 million, or 12.7%, from 74.775 million a month earlier but down 7.873 million, or 8.55%, from 92.122 million a year earlier.

Pork loins in cold storage totaled 43.486 million pounds, up 5.850 million, or 15.5%, from 37.636 million in January but down 2.500 million, or 5.44%, from 45.968 million a year ago.




Chicken stocks in cold storage totaled 782.510 million pounds, up 11.206 million, or 1.45%, from 771.304 million last month and up 13.289 million, or 1.73%, from 769.221 million last year.

Turkey stocks of 295.589 million pounds were up from 243.749 million last month but down from 320.144 million last year.




The USDA reported formula and contract base prices for live FOB steers and heifers this week ranged from $138.00 to $140.37 per cwt, compared with last week’s range of $138.08 to $140.00.  FOB dressed steers and heifers went for $215.97 to $219.25 per cwt, versus $216.09 to $220.18.

The USDA choice cutout Wednesday was up $1.63 per cwt at $261.60, while select was up $1.35 at $253.24.  The choice/select spread widened to $8.36 from $8.08 with 96 loads of fabricated product and 17 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 unchanged at $1.35 to $1.55 a bushel over the May futures and for southwest Kansas were steady at $0.00 over May, which settled at $7.57 3/4, up $0.04 3/4.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Tuesday was $154.97 per cwt down $0.16.  This compares with Wednesday’s Mar contract settlement of $156.10 per cwt, down $0.22.