During March the trade processed an unusually large portion of the Frozen Ham stocks for Easter drawing down nearly 20 million pounds. Local Food retailers apparently carried over a sizable amount of unsold Easter hams in their Meat Cases.
Pork Rib stocks are seen as burdensome given the odds of larger Pork Production in coming months. Pork Rib stocks were reported at 146 million pounds at the end of March compared with the 5 year average of only 88 million pounds. WOW!!
Pork Bellies stocks are accumulated during March at a less than usual rate.
Turkey stocks are rebuilding during March to 160.4 million pounds compared with the 5 year average at 251.9 million pounds. The reduced Turkey stocks indicate how severe the Avian Flu outbreak was last summer and fall.
Total Ham stocks liquidated fairly aggressively during March ahead of Easter. Seasonally, Total Ham stocks expand after Easter and typically peak at the end of September.
Frozen Boneless Beef Stocks liquidated continued liquidating during March as Beef Imports declined sharply, but Wholesale Lean Beef Trimmings prices continue to be well below a year ago levels.
The strong liquidation for Boneless Beef Stocks in recent months likely has generated sizable losses from the freezer programs since these stocks likely were built during the fall months at much higher price levels.
Frozen Pork Belly Stocks expanded seasonally during March going to the longer term average level.
Wholesale Pork Belly prices are trading near the longer term average levels, seasonally Wholesale Pork Belly price are expected to gain $0.25 to $0.35 per pound from current levels to highs likely during late June.
Frozen Pork Ribs stocks continue building and did not have the usual stocks liquidation since last summer. Thus, we see this as being at burdensome levels for spring and summer merchandising programs. The trade has built Frozen Pork Rib stocks to record high levels.
Total Turkey Freezer Stocks expanded during March at a “typical seasonally rate”. Apparently, the disruptive impacts of last summer’s Avian Flu is passing, however, we continue to see reduced Turkey export rates.