Red meat, poultry in cold storage swell

U.S. red meat stocks at the start of 2023 were above last year’s levels.

The USDA says the red meat total was 1.03 billion pounds, up 11% from the start of 2022, with a 7% increase in beef to 543.955 million pounds and 16% jump in pork to 458.142 million pounds.

That pork jump included a 66% year-to-year rise in belly stocks with the industry rebuilding supplies after strong demand.

Those year-to-year gains were despite lower monthly production, with some of that slower December demand tied to a late-month winter storm that delayed movement to retail establishments and restaurants.

Poultry in cold storage was up 23% 1.123 billion pounds, with chicken 25% higher at 931.844 million pounds and turkey up 14% to 189.715 million pounds as higher monthly production was also met with slower demand.

The USDA’s 2022 cold storage totals are scheduled for April.

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