Stored beef up, but proportion of total down

Mar 29, 2013

The USDA Cold Storage report came out Friday, March 22 and reported on the red meat and poultry in cold storage for February. Overall red meat in cold storage was up 3 percent in February 2013 versus February 2012 with 1.15 billion pounds. This represented 52.6 percent of the overall meat (red meat and poultry) in cold storage, down from its 54 percent in February of 2012.

Beef in cold storage amounted to 490.31 million pounds, up 4 percent from the same time last year. Despite this larger raw number, beef represented a smaller portion of the overall meat in cold storage at 22.4 versus 22.7 percent. Beef did, however, make up a larger proportion of the red meat in cold storage, at 42.6 percent this year versus 42.1 percent last year.

Pork in cold storage increased 2 percent last month compared to the prior year, with 636.69 million pounds in storage. The largest increase came from the store of ribs, which was 28 percent higher this February than last.

Pork’s proportion of both red meat and overall meat in cold storage dropped in February 2013 compared to 2012. Last February, pork represented 55.7 percent of red meat in cold storage and 30.1 percent of all meat. This February, those numbers dropped to 55.3 and 29.1 percent, respectively.

Total frozen poultry (chickens, turkeys and ducks) was up 9 percent compared to the same time last year with 1.04 billion pounds in cold storage. Chicken, led by massive increases in wing stores, was up 6 percent at 636.22 million pounds. Turkey was up 14 percent, led mostly by increased stores of whole birds. Poultry’s portion of the overall meat in cold storage went up from 46 percent of the total in 2012 to 47.4 percent this February.

“Of the 118.15 million-pound total increase in frozen meat and poultry inventories versus last year, chicken accounted for 36.5 million and turkey accounted for 49.4 million—a total of 85.14 million or 72 percent of the year-on-year total increase,” Steve Meyer and Len Steiner of CME’s Daily Livestock Report commented.

“It was not a good month for poultry movement and there is more chicken on the way. These poultry supplies could get large indeed!” — Kerry Halladay, WLJ Editor