USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released the latest Cold Storage report Dec. 21, 2004.

The report showed total red meat supplies in freezers on Nov. 30, 2004 were up 1 percent from last month and up 9 percent from last year.

Frozen pork supplies were up 1 percent from last month, but down 2 percent from the previous year, indicating there should be ample room to move any pork into cold storage. This is important as the fourth quarter is typically the time of the largest slaughter of the year.

Stocks of frozen pork bellies were up 113 percent from last month and 3 percent from last year. While this would seem to indicate a great amount of bellies being put into cold storage, in reality belly stocks have been low this year due to strong demand for pork moving the product before it is put into cold storage.

Total frozen poultry supplies were 17 percent below the previous month, but 15 percent above a year ago. Total stocks of chicken were down 4 percent from the previous month, but up 35 percent from last year. Total pounds of turkey in freezers were down 38 percent from last month and down 16 percent from Nov. 30, 2003.