October Cold Storage Report Recap

Cold Storage Month over MonthCold Storage - Year over YearOctober Cold Storage Report  

  • Chicken up 3.6% on month, 17.3% more on year*
  • Turkey down 6.5% from August, 0.6% less than last year
  • Pork up 1.2% vs previous month, 4.8% below year ago
  • Beef up 1.4% from August, 2.5% above year ago

*Record high for September

USDA monthly cold storage data released Monday showed combined meat and poultry stocks held in the nation’s freezer warehouses at the end of September at 2.624 billion pounds, up only slightly from the previous month and 4.8% more than a year ago.  The combined stocks were 12.9% above the five-year average of 2.324 billion pounds.


Chicken stocks were reported at 959.4 million pounds, exceeding the previous month and year-ago figures while also reaching a new high for that date. Chicken stocks were up 3.6% from the previous month and 17.3% over a year ago. The figure was 30% above the five-year average of 738 million pounds.


Turkey stocks were down 6.5% from end-August and 0.6% from a year ago. The end-September figure was 566.6 million pounds, 10.9% above the five-year average of 511 million pounds.  Versus expectations, the chicken number is bearish for the market and reiterates we currently have an oversupply problem.  The turkey number breeds optimism for an industry that has worked hard to reduce supply.


End-September pork stocks were reported at 588.9 million pounds, an increase of 1.2% from the previous month. The report showed pork holdings 4.8% below the year-ago figure.

The month-on-month increase in pork stocks was 7.4 million pounds.  The amount in storage was 3% below the five-year average of 607 million pounds.  Actual statistics came very close to pre-report estimates; thus, the report was considered neutral for pork.


Beef stocks were reported at 508.6 million pounds, up 7.3 million, or 1.4%, from August, but below  the average of analysts’ expectations . Beef stocks were 2.5% above the year-ago figure.   Beef stocks were 8.9% above the five-year average of 467 million.  Because the beef numbers showed we have less in cold storage than analysts predicted, the report is deemed bullish for the market and illustrates the continued growth in demand.

Click here to view the full USDA Cold Storage Report for October 2018.