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U.S. Pork Supply Gains 13% From Year Ago as Hog Slaughter Rises

Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Pork inventories in the U.S. rose 13 percent in the 12 months through November as hog slaughter increased, the government said.

Warehouses held 558.035 million pounds of the meat on Nov. 30, up from 495.117 million on Nov. 30, 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report. Inventories fell 7.5 percent from the end of October. Wholesale-pork prices fell 1.2 percent last month, USDA data show.

Commercial pork production in the first 11 months of the year totaled 21.297 billion pounds (9.66 million metric tons), up 2.9 percent from the same period a year earlier, the government said in a separate report today. About 10.105 million hogs were slaughtered in November, 0.6 percent more than a year earlier, USDA data show.

“There’s still a good correlation between production levels and cold-storage stocks,” Bob Brown, an independent market consultant in Edmond, Oklahoma, said in a telephone interview before the report. “We’ve just continued this string that we’ve had of record high production.”

Hog futures for February settlement rose 0.5 percent to 86.9 cents a pound at 12:55 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices were up 2.6 percent this year through yesterday.

As of Nov. 30, stockpiles of pork bellies, which are cured and sliced to make bacon, fell 8.4 percent from a year earlier to 24.4 million pounds, according to today’s report. Warehouse supplies of ham rose 3.1 percent from a year ago to 97.7 million pounds.

Chicken-meat inventories at the end of November were 3.6 percent larger than a year earlier at 674.8 million pounds, the USDA said. Beef supplies fell 0.6 percent to 441 million pounds.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Campbell in Chicago at ecampbell14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net.

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