Supermarket food inflation slowed last month, though retail beef prices remained on pace for the largest increase in seven years and pork was on track for the biggest jump in 15 years, a reflection of smaller herds and robust demand from China and other top export markets.

Average retail beef and veal prices last month rose 9.8 percent nationwide compared with November 2010, according to updated Consumer Price Index data released Dec. 16 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retail pork rose 6.9 percent in November, an acceleration from the 5.9-percent increase posted in October.