Red Meat, Poultry Stocks Rise

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service Friday said the total amount of red meat in US cold storage on Feb. 28 was up about 2%, while total poultry stocks were about steady, with a year ago.

Specifically, total red meat in the nation’s freezers came to 1.140 billion pounds, up 20.0 million, or 1.79%, from 1.120 billion a month earlier and up 21 million, or 1.88%, from 1.119 billion a year earlier.

Total frozen poultry stocks, at 1.331 billion pounds, were up 83 million, or 6.65%, from 1.248 billion a month earlier and up 1 million, or 0.08%, from 1.330 billion a year earlier.




The Livestock Marketing Information Center’s letter to Extension Staff, the Livestock Monitor, pointed to chicken stocks as some of the more interesting data.

“Many of the products that typically go to export markets had year-over-year declines,” the LMIC said.

Legs and leg quarters were down 25% each at 11.560 million and 61.291 million pounds, respectively.  Paws and feet were down 6% at 30.085 million.  Wings declined by 8% year-over-year to 65.335 million pounds, and other chicken was down by 2% at 411.005 million pounds.

“Most of the other categories continued to post year-over-year gains compared to 2018,” the LMIC said.

Whole broilers were up 38% from a year earlier and up 12% from a month earlier to 19.363 million pounds, and hen tonnage was 65% above a year ago and 7% above a month earlier at 7.090 million pounds.  Drumsticks and thighs increased to 133% and 120%, respectively, over 2018.”




Total beef in cold storage kept rising from a year earlier, a comparison watched by more beef and cattle traders than the monthly comparison.  The total amount of beef in cold storage on Feb. 28 came to 479.282 million pounds, down 30.931 million, or 6.06%, from 510.213 million a month earlier but up 19.943 million, or 4.34%, from 459.339 million a year earlier.

Beef cuts on ice came to 28.356 million pounds, down from 32.717 a month earlier and down from 42.901 million a year earlier.

Boneless beef stocks, at 450.926 million pounds, were down 26.570 million, or 5.56%, from 477.496 million a month earlier but up 34.488 million, or 8.28%, from 416.438 million a year ago.




Pork in cold storage came to 615.979 million pounds, up 53.247 million, or 9.46%, from 562.732 million a month earlier and up 6.166 million, or 1.01%, from 609.813 million a year ago.

Pork butts increased the most, totaling 25.315 million pounds, rising 4.788 million, or 23.3%, from 20.527 million a month earlier and 2.812 million, or 12.5%, from 22.503 million from last year.

Hams and ribs were the largest pork cuts by volume in cold storage at 127.741 million pounds and 142.606 million, respectively, up 10% and 8% from last year.




Cash cattle trade was reported last week at $128, up to $130, per cwt on a live basis, up $2 from the bulk of the previous week’s action, and at $205 to $208 on a dressed basis, up $2 to $4 from most of the previous week’s trade.

The USDA choice cutout Monday was down $0.09 per cwt at $229.00, while select was up $0.09 at $218.73.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $10.27 from $10.45 with 87 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Friday, was $141.80 per cwt, up $0.78.  This compares with Monday’s Mar contract settlement of $142.17, down $0.82, and the Apr contract settlement of $146.20, down $2.60.