The amount of meat in storage fell across the board in November compared with the year-earlier period, according to the USDA's monthly Cold Storage report released this week. This represents a little piece of good news for the finances of meat processors, says J.P. Morgan analyst Ken Goldman.
Pork in storage, for example, was down 7.5 percent from the same period a year ago, and the biggest decline since last April. Hams were down 20.2 percent from last year, and variety, unclassified and "other" pork in storage fell by 14.2 percent year-over-year.
Beef in storage also fell by 10.5 percent year-over-year, according to Meatingplace.com. That was the fourth straight decline and the biggest drop since June 2005.
Chicken in cold storage declined by 18.5 percent compared with year-ago levels. Inventories of leg quarters and breasts were down 52.5 percent and 12.3 percent year-over-year, respectively. Turkey in cold storage dropped by 36.8 percent from the year-earlier level, the biggest year-over-year decline since at least 1995, Goldman said.