Red Meat in Cold Storage Above Traders' Expectations

March 22, 2011 03:40 PM


USDA's Cold Storage Report is getting a negative read, as traders expected total red meat stocks to come in slightly lower than year-ago, but instead came in 13% higher than Feb. 2010. Total frozen pork and beef stocks at the end of February came in higher than traders anticipated.

USDA pegs total frozen pork stocks at 578.064 million lbs. -- well above the average trade guess of 553 million pounds. That's up 7% from last month and 12% higher than year-ago. The increase was led by hams, which recorded a new monthly record. Total ham supplies came in 17% higher than last month and 39% higher than year-ago levels.

Total frozen beef stocks at 467.681 million lbs. came in above the average trade guess of 444 million lbs. -- up 1% from last month and 16% higher than year-ago levels. USDA reports total frozen poultry supplies down 1% from last month, but up 4% from year-ago levels at 1.017 billion pounds.

Traders had stronger exports factored into pre-report expectations. As a result, this report could raise some concerns, although the overall export outlook for 2011 remains bright.

Link to report

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