There were plenty of surprises in today's Cold Storage Report. We'll start with the positive -- pork demand was even stronger than anticipated in December. Frozen pork stocks declined 8% from Nov. 30 levels to 477.214 million pounds as of Dec. 31. This was 29.186 million lbs. lighter than anticipated and a 13% drop from last year at that point.
The amount of beef in the nation's freezers at the end of December told quite the opposite story. Frozen beef stocks stood at 567.002 million lbs. at the end of December. This was up 7% from the end of November and 11% from year-ago levels. The tally was the highest on record for the month of December and 28.202 million lbs. higher than anticipated.
Total frozen poultry stocks were also up from year- and month-ago levels as of Dec. 31 at nearly 1.094 billion pounds. Pork is clearly winning the battle in the meatcase.