USDA’S monthly Cold Storage report was released last week and it contained little good news for the meat and poultry businesses and was particularly ugly for the pork sector.
Based on weekly data, April 30 pork stocks amounted to roughly 36% of April pork production. That is the highest percentage of monthly production in month-end cold storage since April 2000.
The total inventory of pork, at 659.532 million pounds is the second largest on record. It falls just short of the 663.443 million pounds that was in freezers at the end of April 2008. This year’s April 30 inventory is 20.1% higher than last year and 8.1% higher than last month. Hams are the largest contributor to the grown in frozen pork stocks, coming in 46% higher than last year and 40.6% higher than last month. There are 35.6 million more pounds of hams in U.S. freezers than one year ago — and 32.5 million more than last month! Hams have been a challenge all winter and spring after the holidays passed with significant volume still on hand. It doesn’t appear that we are very near working through the backlog yet. Bellies were the second big contributor to freezer stock growth, coming in 40.6% higher than last year and 13.2% higher than last month. That 40.6% means that there are 21.6 million more pounds of bellies available this year.
Wednesday May 23, 2012/ CME Group.