National Beef Packing Co. LLC, the fourth-largest U.S. beef company, said it will reduce beef production by 20 percent for several weeks beginning on Saturday due to poor operating margins.

"This decision to reduce hours is difficult but necessary due to unprecedented losses as a result of tight cattle supplies, poor demand, and excessive beef imports," said Tim Klein, National's president and chief operating officer.

The beef imports are from Canada, the company said.

The action will reduce National's cattle slaughter by 10,000 to 15,000 head per week, or about 20 percent.

National Beef is a unit of privately held U.S. Premium Beef, and has beef plants in Liberal and Dodge City, Kansas.

Source: Yahoo News