A government report showing frozen turkey stocks approaching record levels may have a chilling effect on already depressed pork futures prices, analysts said Friday.
Pork futures settled mixed Friday before the Agriculture Department released its monthly cold storage report, and market analysts said another government report due out next week could send hog and frozen pork belly futures prices plummeting.
On other markets, cattle futures advanced; grain and soybeans were mixed; precious metals fell; energy futures settled lower.
The USDA reported frozen supplies of pork bellies as of Aug. 31 at 18.9 million pounds, near pre-report estimates, said Chuck Levitt, an analyst in Chicago with Shearson Lehman Bros.
But the report also showed 558.6 million pounds of frozen turkeys, 24% more than a year ago.
With the winter holiday season approaching, Levitt said the report indicated that "competition will be fierce" between turkey and the other favorite holiday food, ham. "We were already having problems cleaning up ham supplies as it was," Levitt said. "That turkey number told us that we're going to perpetuate that difficulty going into the holiday season."