CME: Meat in Cold Storage

US - CME's Daily Livestock Report for 23 September 2008.
calendar icon 24 September 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

USDA’s monthly Cold Storage Report, released on 22 September, reported total frozen meat and poultry inventories that were steady with one month earlier for the second month in a row.

There was 2.327 billion pounds of beef, pork, chicken and turkey in freezers on August 31, 1.07% more than last month and 8.5% higher than one year ago. This makes seven straight months that frozen meat and poultry stocks have been between 2.237 and 2.327 billion pounds. Detailed data from the report appear in the table.

Chicken continues to account for the largest share of total meat and poultry stocks, accounting for about one-third of the total. August’s 754.8 million pounds in freezers was 15.7% higher than one year ago but just 2.2% higher than last month. As has been the case for the past two months, the items accounting for the largest percentage increases are leg and leg quarter products and chicken paws—-all items that are generally exported. “Other” chicken still accounts for over half of the total and that large category was 7.5% higher than last year and virtually unchanged from last month.

Total pork in cold storage amounted to 482.8 million pounds 5.3% higher than one year ago and 1.8% lower than last month. While still higher than last year, pork stocks are now well within their historical range and sharply lower than last spring’s record levels. Bellies accounted for largest unit increase (10.4 million pounds) and the second largest percentage increase (48.6%). Stocks of butts were 259.8% of last year but that is a percentage of only 5.774 million pounds one year ago so it represents only 9.229 million pounds more butts in cold storage.

Total pork in cold storage on August 31 represented 26.5% of total August pork production. That figure is down form 33% in March but even that number was not particularly high from a historic perspective. Cold storage as a percent of monthly pork production reached an all-time high back in May 1999 at 40.4%.

Turkey inventories are growing in a very normal manner but are significantly larger than last year. Turkey stocks normally peak in August or September. August 31 stocks were only 0.9% larger than July 31 levels but were 19.4% larger than last year. It is clear from the graph below that these levels are much higher than those of the past three years.

Year-to-date (YTD) turkey slaughter is 7% larger than last year. Lower weights, though, have resulted in total turkey production that is 1.6% higher YTD.

Meat in Cold Storage

Million Lbs., Product Weight
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