May 22, 2020


Lower US pork and beef inventories in May due to COVID-19


US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data showed United States frozen pork inventories are lower in April, with beef inventories also decreased because the COVID-19 pandemic closed meat plants and forced groceries to set purchase limits, Reuters reported.


Frozen pork inventories are at 614.8 million pounds as of April 30, a 2 million pound drop compared to March. Rich Nelson, broker Allendalechief strategist said supplies normally go up 27 million pounds between March to April.


Beef inventories are at 490 million pounds in April, 12 pounds lesser compared to the month prior and above the average 6 million pound decline.


USDA data also showed pork belly inventories increased 2.7 million pounds to 80.87 million pounds from March to April. Allendale said the usual increase for this period is 7 million pounds.


Pork belly cut prices have dropped because restaurants have closed down, but other pork cut prices have gone up because of higher demand in retail.


Analysts said meat stored in cold storage will be exported rather than supplying the domestic market.


USDA data showed China cancelled 12,561 tonnes of US pork purchases last week, but remains a major buyer with purchases of 19,808 tonnes.


Don Roose, president of broker U.S. Commodities in Iowa said China's cancelled purchases could be because of surging pork prices.


-      Reuters