Poultry stocks for the end of January were up substantially from a year ago, with turkey stocks increased by 22 percent and broiler stocks up by 10 percent.

The USDA’s Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook report, released on March 14, revealed that the turkey stocks estimate for the end of January was at 362 million pounds, up 22 percent from a year ago and 39 percent from January of 2011.

The increase in cold storage holdings includes nearly all of the categories reported for turkey. Whole bird stocks were estimated at 149 million pounds, a 35 percent increase from a year ago. Stock levels for breast meat increased to 64 million pounds, a 29 percent increase, and for unclassified turkey parts at 85 million pounds, a 24 percent jump. Legs and “other parts” were the exception, as the USDA reported a drop in stocks.


The USDA’s 2013 estimated turkey meat production increased 150 million pounds from the agency’s earlier estimate, and the expected increased production is expected to further drive up the cold storage stock numbers.

Broiler stocks are also up, according to the report. Stocks at the end of January totaled 631 million pounds, a ten percent increase from the same month a year ago. Stocks of most broiler products were well above their previous-year levels, but drumsticks and other parts were the exception, with drumstick levels lowering by 26 percent and other products down 5 percent. Wing stocks were up 66 percent from the previous year, though the wholesale wing price was not reflected in that. Stocks of whole birds, breast meat, legs and leg quarters were all increased substantially, while stocks of thighs and thigh meat were up only by small amounts.