Cold storage red meat supplies remain tight

Pork in cold storage in March was 26.8% lower than the same period last year.


National Hog Farmer

Apr 27, 2021


The USDA released its April “Cold Storage” report last Friday, revealing that total red meat supplies remain tight at 969.3 million pounds on March 31, 2021, down 6.0% from the prior month and 16.6% lower than a year ago.


Pork in cold storage, at 451.8 million pounds, was down 26.8% from the same period last year and down 26.0% below the five-year average. The Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC) said each product category posted year-over year-declines, except for bone-in loins which rose 10.0% to 21.4 million pounds. Bellies showed the sharpest decline, down 54.9% decline from last year to 35.3 million pounds. Total hams in storage were 60.7 million pounds, down 31.3% from last year and 34.2% lower than last month. LMIC said the decline was likely the result of an earlier Easter this year. Spareribs, butts, and picnic were at 101.4, 18.7, and 7.5 million pounds, respectively, down 23.5%, 32.3%, and 30.2%, respectively.


Total beef in cold storage dropped 5.6% in March, to 483.7 million pounds. This was also 3.7% lower than 2020. LMIC reported both boneless beef and beef cuts fell 3.4% and 8.5%, respectively, from last year to 451.3 and 32.3 million pounds.


“The tighter supplies of beef in cold storage are helping support the boxed beef cutout value which has risen 32.3%, or $66.69/cwt., from the start of the year to $273.42/cwt. in mid-April.”


According to LMIC...