Cold Storage Report: Pork Stocks Build, Beef Stocks Tighten

March 22, 2012 09:16 AM

This afternoon's Cold Storage Report showed total pork stocks at the end of February coming in above expectations and month-ago levels, while beef stocks were below expectations and tighter than month-ago.

At 624.718 million lbs., total pork stocks came in 7% above month-ago levels and are 9% larger than year-ago. There are plenty of hams in frozen storage for Easter, with total ham supplies up 12% from last month, although 8% tighter than year-ago levels. Loins and trimmings are the only categories that are smaller than month-earlier, with total loin supplies down 10% from last month and trimmings off by two percentage points.
Perspective: It's very disappointing to see ham supplies build at this time of year, signaling lackluster demand. This signals more price pressure could be ahead for the pork cutout market, although tightening market-ready supplies heading into the spring should help to limit overall downside risk in futures and the cash market.

Meanwhile, total beef stocks at 466.106 million lbs. are four percentage points smaller than the previous month and are up just one percentage point from year-ago.
Perspective: Meanwhile, the beef supply situation is not burdensome and export demand is helping to provide a boost. This morning's Weekly Export Sales Report showed beef sales of 52,000 MT for the week ended March 15, coming in well above 8,800 MT the previous week.

Total frozen poultry supplies rose by 5% from last month, but are 6% tighter than year-ago.

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