Cold Storage Report Confirms Strong Meat Demand
USDA reports there were 453.6 million lbs. of beef in frozen storage at the end of April, a 29.4-million-lb. (6.1%) month-to-month drop and a much more aggressive drawdown than the 11.4-million-lb. retreat over the past five years. Beef stocks came in 25.8 million lbs. (5.4%) lighter than last year at this time and 7.8 million lbs. (1.7%) under the five-year average.
Frozen pork stocks climbed 4.2 million lbs. (0.9%) from March to 455.3 million lbs. at the end of April, which was just a fifth of the usual 19.9-million-lb. build during April over the past five years. Pork stocks were 25.5% (156.0 million lbs.) under year-ago levels and 163.8 million lbs. (26.5%) under the five-year average.
The pork and beef stocks numbers both speak to pent-up consumer demand as Covid-related restrictions ease. Strong export demand, particularly out of China, has also helped to draw down U.S. supplies of red meat. Total red meat stocks stood at 940.6 million lbs., a 17.3% retreat from year-ago and a 2.8% dip from March 31.
Total frozen poultry stocks of 1.089 billion lbs. as of April 30 were little changed month-over-month but down 19.7% from year-ago levels. Chicken stocks were 22.4% under year-ago levels.