Pork, chicken in cold storage end 2019 at record levels

Pork and chicken in cold storage finished last year at all-time highs.

The USDA says pork supplies were 580.904 million pounds, an increase of 15% on the year with record production exceeding anticipated demand, and while beef stocks dipped 3% to 481.012 million pounds, that larger than expected pork total pushed total red meat supplies to 1.103 billion pounds, 5% above the end of 2018. That monthly total for pork included an all-time high for boneless ham stocks.

Chicken was reported at 962.255 million pounds, up 9% on the year, but turkeys dropped 23% to 233.147 million pounds, leaving the total amount of poultry in cold storage only up 1% from the year before at 1.198 billion pounds. The total for chicken included record levels of breasts & breast meat and drumsticks.

The USDA’s livestock slaughter numbers for December are out Thursday, with poultry slaughter scheduled for Friday.

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