This afternoon's USDA Cold Storage Report revealed more pork and beef in freezers as of Jan. 31, 2012, than traders expected.
At 584.4 million lbs., total pork stocks are up 21% from the previous month and are 8% higher than year-ago. Traders expected pork stocks to total 539.8 million pounds. The report clearly shows retailers have not yet begun buying hams aggressively, as total ham inventories are up 29% from the previous month and are 5% higher than year-ago.
Total beef stocks at 482.1 million lbs. came in above traders' expectations of 443 million lbs. and are 5% higher than last month and 4% higher than year-ago.
Total frozen poultry supplies are up 8% from last month, but down 11% from year-ago.
Juli says: Well, the hams are there, but where are the buyers? Hams were a hit over the Christmas holiday, and traders largely expected aggressive buying to have begun by now for Easter features. The report should weigh on lean hog futures tomorrow as traders are becoming discouraged with the delay in seasonal buying.