Beef Stocks Lower Than Expected, Pork Stocks Top Expectations

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Frozen meat stocks at the end of May signal beef demand was greater than anticipated, while pork demand wasn't as strong as expected. Still, pork stocks declined slightly during the month and were lower than year-ago, so demand more than kept up despite hefty slaughter totals.

Beef stocks as of May 31 totaled 412.9 million lbs., down 45.5 million lbs. (9.9%) from April and 48.8 million lbs. (10.6%) from May 2016. Beef stocks were 25.7 million lbs. less than the average pre-report trade estimate.

End-of-May pork stocks at 592.1 million lbs. were 20.1 million lbs. more than the average pre-report estimate. However, pork stocks dropped 2.8 million lbs. (0.5%) from April and 24.0 million lbs. (3.9%) from last year.

Total red meat inventories at nearly 1.048 billion lbs. declined 49.8 million lbs. (4.5%) from April and 81.5 million lbs. (7.2%) from May 2016, signaling demand continues to chew through supplies despite bigger cattle and hog slaughter numbers.

Frozen poultry stocks at the end of May totaled 1.322 billion lbs., up 50.3 million lbs. (4.0%) from April and 52.8 million lbs. (4.2%) from last year.



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