Packers Working To Keep Inventories In Check

With weekly cattle and hog slaughter up close to 3% year to date, Monday’s monthly USDA Cold Storage report showed packers were able to keep beef from accumulating in the freezers, said ADMIS market analysts.

However, the accomplishment came at a cost with lower choice beef and hog prices.

Slowing foreign trade because of rising tariffs is showing up in the monthly USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service Cold Storage report as usage slows and production continues to expand.

Total red meat supplies in US freezers on June 30 were down 7% from the previous month but up 5% from last year, the report said.

Total frozen poultry supplies were up 3% from May and up 6% from a year ago.  Total chicken stocks were up 2% from the previous month and up 10% from last year.  Turkey stocks were up 5% from May but down 1% from a year earlier.




Total stocks of beef in the nation’s freezers were 448.577 million pounds, down 16.077 million, or 3.46%, from 464.654 million a month earlier but up 33.251 million, or 8.01%, from 415.326 million a year earlier.

Beef cuts in cold storage totaled 41.454 million pounds, up 2.889 million, or 7.49%, from 38.565 million a month earlier and up 9.786 million, or 30.9%, from 31.668 million a year earlier.

However, the amount of boneless beef on ice was pegged at 407.123 million pounds, down 18.966 million, or 4.45%, from 426.089 million on May 31 but up 23.465 million, or 6.12%, from 383.658 million a year earlier.




Total stocks of pork in US freezers on June 30 were 560.034 million pounds, down 63.691 million, or 10.2%, from 623.725 million a month earlier but up from 559.010 million a year earlier.

Supplies of frozen pork bellies continued to capture attention as total inventories amounted to 51.248 million pounds, down 9.986 million, or 16.3%, from 61.234 million a month earlier but up 28.957 million, or 129.9%, from 22.291 million a year earlier.

Total pounds of hams in cold storage were 148.739 million, up 9.444 million, or 6.78%, from 139.295 million a month earlier but down 29.572 million, or 16.6%, from 178.311 million a year earlier.

Frozen pork loin stocks totaled 32.053 million pounds, down 4.466 million, or 12.2%, from 36.519 million on May 31, and down 7.844 million, or 19.7%, from 39.897 million on June 30, 2017.




Total chicken stocks on June 30 totaled 888.619 million pounds, up 13.431 million, or 1.53%, from 875.188 million on May 31 and up 83.154 million, or 10.3%, from 805.465 million on June 30, 2017.

Total turkey stocks came to 562.280 million pounds, up from 536.026 million a month ago but down from 565.123 million a year ago.




One pen of fed cattle sold on the Livestock Exchange Video Auction Wednesday at $112 per cwt, up $6 from the last sale three weeks previous.

Cash cattle traded Friday afternoon at $112 to $113 per cwt on a live basis, up $2 from the previous week, and at $178 to $180 on a dressed basis, up $5.

The USDA choice cutout Monday was up $0.65 per cwt at $204.82, while select was up $1.03 at $198.03.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $6.79 from $7.17 with 78 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Wednesday, was $148.49 per cwt, up $0.47.  This compares with Monday’s Aug settlement of $153.25, down $0.42.