Total red meat supplies in freezers were 4 percent above July 31, 2002 and 30 percent above August 2001.

Frozen pork stocks were 2 percent below last months high levels, but 39 percent above last year. Stocks of pork bellies were 49 percent below last month, but 20 percent above August 2001 stocks.

Total frozen poultry supplies were down 5 percent from last month but were 28 percent above last year’s levels. Total stocks of chicken were down 6 percent from last month, but were 31 percent above last year’s levels. The stocks of chicken are due largely to the Russian embargo of U.S. poultry that shut down U.S. poultry’s number one export market for several months.

The more pork, and to a lesser extent, meat, is in cold storage the less excited packers will be to bid up the price of live hogs. Usually, cold storage has had a minimal effect on hog prices, but in 1998 and 1999 the large frozen stocks were believed to have been a drag on hog prices.