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Trends in meat production called “troubling”

Midway through 2009, U.S. red meat production is down about two percent from the first half of 2008.  But market observers note that the reductions in red meat production have been leveling off in recent weeks which could be a troubling development, according to a report from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Farmfutures.com reports that, through June 27th, beef production remains down about two-point-three percent for the year, while pork production is off by one-point-seven percent.  However, weekly red meat totals since mid-May have been closer to year-ago levels and red meat output has been significantly higher than the average for the period from 2003 to 2007.  Analysts say operating losses in both the beef and pork sectors still point to needed output reductions if profits are to return.

The report says poultry production in 2009 is about six percent lower than last year, but poultry production is also creeping back up.

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