The United States is predicted to produce a total of 23.22 billion pounds of pork in 2013, which is just 0.1 percent down on the amount produced in 2012, new figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) show. In November, U.S. pork production dropped 1.8 percent compared to the same period in 2012, Bloomberg reported.
At the end of November production of bacon shot up, as stockpiles of pork bellies used to produce it soared by 102.8 percent compared to the same period in 2012. Total inventories of pork bellies reached 48.34 billion pounds, figures reveal. Supplies of ham also went up, reaching just over 116 million pounds — a more modest 18.8 percent increase year-on-year.
Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that increased demand for bacon had led to the highest retail prices of the product in about three decades, to $5.7 per pound. The hike was due to unusually high demand for bacon in a wide range of products, including ice cream and muffins. However, predictions are for a price drop over the next few months, analysts say.
Meanwhile, chicken stockpiles as of November 30 registered a 7.3 percent increase compared to November 2012, with total production standing at 720.94 million pounds. Over the same period, beef inventories went up 0.7 percent to just over 445 million pounds, the USDA said.