Latest data for September ending stocks indicate that third-quarter cold and dried-egg storage for U.S. animal protein commodities changed compared to 2017 as follows:

  • broilers (up more than 17 percent)
  • turkey (down less than 1 percent)
  • eggs (down nearly 15 percent)
  • beef (up almost 3 percent),
  • pork (down nearly 5 percent)
  • lamb (up almost 29 percent)
  • cheese (up more than 4 percent)
  • butter (up almost 11 percent)

Most commodities decreased stocks or increased them only marginally, while lamb, broilers, and butter increased substantially. The significant increase in broiler inventories reflects a combination of seasonal patterns and weaker-than expected demand.

Broiler production projections were revised down on declining placements of broiler chicks in recent weeks, while prices were increased slightly based on a recent price uptick. Broiler stocks were also increased in response to a large bump in third-quarter ending stocks. No revisions were made to egg production, trade, or price projections. The 2018 turkey production forecast is lowered by 24 million pounds to 5.875 billion pounds, 2 percent below 2017. Turkey production for 2019 is reduced 80 million pounds to 5.905 billion pounds, a half-percent increase over the 2018 forecast.

While year-to-date production has been fairly strong (2.6 percent year-over-year growth), high cold storage inventories suggest that supply may have outpaced demand. Third-quarter ending stocks were 925 million pounds, over 17 percent higher than a year earlier. This significant increase was driven by abundant inventories of other meat, wings, and drumsticks.

Total broiler products in cold storage have surged during the fall months in most recent years, consistent with declining seasonal demand marked by the end of grilling season and the shift by retailers to holiday-type meats. In terms of percent share of total stocks, inventories of other meat and wings have been on an upward trend for over a year, while dark meat has been trending upward since the beginning of the year. Conversely, the percent share of breast meat has been trending downward, while inventories of whole birds have remained stable relative to total stocks.

Click the link to read USDA’s November Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook report.