Red Meat Supplies Turn Downward

Total red meat supplies in US freezers on Oct. 31 were down about 1% from a month earlier, but were down 2% from last year as beef poundage rose about 2% from October but fell 5% from 2016.

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service issued the data in its November Cold Storage report and added that frozen pork supplies were down about 3% from a month earlier and were down slightly from last year.

Total poultry supplies fell about 4% in October but were up 12% from a year ago, NASS said.  Total chicken stocks were up about 6% from the previous month and were up 12% from last year.  Turkey stocks were down 20% from a month earlier but were up 14% from a year earlier.




Total pounds of beef in cold storage on Oct. 31 was placed at 506.931 million pounds, up 10.904 million, or 2.20%, from 496.027 million a month earlier but was down 26.137 million, or 4.90%, from the record Oct. 31 high of 533.068 million a year earlier.

Supplies of beef cuts in cold storage were pegged at 44.674 million pounds, up 3.098 million, or 7.45%, from Sep. 30, but was up 6.136 million, or 15.9%, from 38.538 million a year earlier.  However, this is a far cry from the record of 78.184 million pounds on ice in 2008.

Boneless beef in US freezers on Oct. 31 amounted to 462.257 million pounds, up 7.806 million, or 1.72%, from 454,451 million a month earlier but was 32.273 million, or 6.53%, less than the record 494.530 million pounds just a year earlier.




Total US pork supplies in cold storage were reported at 597.295 million pounds, down 21.297 million, or 3.44%, from the Sep. 30 total of 618.592 million and 1.715 million, or 0.29%, below the year-earlier total of 599.010 million.

The total also was below the record Oct. 31 total of 603.502 million by 6.207 million pounds, or 1.03%.

Pork bellies on ice were listed at 32.195 million pounds, up 11.298 million, or 54.1%, from 20.897 million a month earlier and up 11.809 million, or 57.9%, from 20.386 million a year earlier.

The record high for Oct. 31 pork belly stocks was 53.057 million pounds, set in 1971.

Oct. 31 frozen ham stocks were reported at 195,505 million pounds, down 36.543 million, or 15.7%, from 232.048 million a month earlier but up 4.075 million, or 2.13%, from 191.430 million a year earlier.  The record for hams in cold storage on Oct. 31 was 196.460 million in 2015.




Cash cattle trading began this week at scattered feed yards at $118 per cwt on a live basis Tuesday, down $1 from the bulk of last week’s action.  However, trade was seen Wednesday in Colorado and western Nebraska at $120 to $120.50, up $1 to $1.50.

About 617 head of fed cattle sold on the Livestock Exchange video auction last Wednesday at $119.21 and $119.25 per cwt, down about $4.75 from a week earlier.

The USDA’s choice cutout Wednesday was up $0.38 per cwt at $209.01, while select was off $0.01 at $188.64.  The choice/select spread widened to $20.37 from $19.98 with 127 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Tuesday was $156.58 per cwt, down $0.10.  This compares with Wednesday’s Jan settlement at $152.72 per cwt, up $1.10.