Things to Consider….
The latest US Cold Storage numbers reported pork stocks at 458.1 million pounds for December, which was up 6.6m pounds from November however 61.7m pounds over year-ago levels. While current stocks have risen over lows recorded for the end of 2021, overall pork supplies remain low compare to more recent historical years (prior to 2020). Increased month-over-month quantities of bellies, trimmings, spare-ribs and bone-in picnics outweighed declines in remaining pork categories.
Beef in US cold storage rose 20.7 million pounds from the previous report, bringing beef stocks 36.8 million pounds over stocks reported at the end of 2021. Notably, total beef stocks for Dec 2022 are the second highest historically, behind the record reached Dec 2016 at 567.9 million pounds. Boneless beef accounted for the greatest portion of the monthly move, with beef cuts up more modestly in terms of weight.
Total broilers were up 20.3 million for December, bringing them 188.9 million over a year earlier largely due to the surge in ‘other’ chickens. Current stocks of broilers in cold storage are among the highest historically.
Total chicken in US cold storage increased 16.5 million pounds on the month, bringing chicken 185.2 million pounds over year-ago stocks. Total chicken stocks are among the highest historically, behind highs recorded late 2018 & 2019. Lower quantities of leg quarters, drumsticks and thigh quarters were more than offset by increases in other chicken categories. Notably, chicken breast meat stocks finished the year +63.4% over December 2021 however are the second highest historically for the month of December (behind the historical high recorded at the end of 2020).