U.S. broiler meat stocks in cold storage at the end of June totaled 637 million pounds, a five percent increase from the end of June 2012. However, in its August 16 Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook report, the USDA forecast a drop in frozen stocks of broilers during the second half of 2013.
While overall broiler stocks were up on June 30, there was some variation in cold storage levels for different broiler products. Stocks of whole birds were up 18 percent, and leg quarters, thighs and wings were all up significantly. However, lower cold storage holdings of breast meat, legs and thigh meat helped offset those larger gains.
Cold storage levels for broiler products are expected to be below 2012 levels for the end of the third and fourth quarters as falling prices for many broiler products will help increase consumption. The USDA anticipates that chicken products will also face downward price pressure for the second half of 2013 as production picks up in response to anticipated lower feed costs.