Cold Storage Data Signals Strong Demand for Beef and Pork in April

Posted on 05/22/2019 2:32 PM

There were around 430.3 million lbs. of beef in frozen storage as of April 30, nearly a 21.6 million-lb. drawdown from the month prior, whereas the usual month-to-month drop is just 3.2 million pounds. Frozen beef stocks were down 40.8 million lbs. from year-ago, which is even more impressive when one considers big year-over-year gains in beef production.

We had expected the report to show strong demand for beef but underestimated just how strong the drawdown was last month. We expected frozen beef stocks to come in around 450 million pounds.

USDA reports there were nearly 621.9 million lbs. of pork in the nation’s freezers as of April 30, which was 8.1 million lbs. lower than we expected and nearly a 12.9-million-lb. decline from year-ago. Frozen pork stocks were up 13.5 million lbs. from the close of March, but the 10-year average is a 20 million-lb. increase over that timeframe.

Frozen poultry stocks stood at nearly 1.369 billion lbs. at the end of April, up 26.2 million lbs. from March and little changed from year-ago. That included nearly 893.6 million lbs. of chicken, which was a 3% increase from month and year-ago – and a record.

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