WASHINGTON – Pork and beef have been the popular meat choices for Americans this summer, according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's cold storage report which shows a reduction in total red meat supplies in storage by 22%, reports the Des Moines Register.

Pork supplies were down in June 8% from May and 29% from the previous year. Among pork products, ribs were down 25% from last year and pork bellies were down 54%. Hams are in better supply, down just 3% percent from last year, although summer is considered ham’s off-season. And, beef supplies are down 16% from a year ago.

The report reflects rising demand and also a thinning of the cattle and hog herds by about 3% nationwide in response to low prices during the past three years. Retail prices for beef and pork have risen modestly this summer, although not as much as the wholesale reductions, according to the latest U.S.D.A. figures.

Only chicken seems to be in larger supply this year than last, up 2% from June 2009.