USDA reports U.S. commercial red meat production for December was down 5% on the year at 3.997 billion pounds. 2012 red meat production totaled 49.436 billion pounds, up slightly from the 2011 total.
Beef production was pegged at 2.020 billion pounds, 5% lower than a year ago with the kill declining 8% to 2.544 million head and average live weight increasing 26 pounds to 1,323 pounds. For the year to date, beef production was 25.912 billion pounds, down 1%, with the slaughter at 32.950 million head, 3% below 2011, and average live weight up 25 pounds at 1,302.
Veal came out at 9.8 million pounds, down 9% on the year with slaughter dropping 10% to 65,400 head and average live weight up a pound at 254 pounds. During 2012, veal production was 118,000 pounds, a 9% drop on the year, with the slaughter also down 9% at 772,100 head, and average live weight at 260 pounds, 3 pounds below the 2011 average.
Pork was reported at 1.954 billion pounds, 5% below last year with the slaughter also down 5% to 9.465 million head and average live weight dropping two pounds to 276 pounds. 2012 U.S. pork production totaled 23.250 billion pounds, up 2% from 2011, with a kill of 113.152 million head, also up 2%, and the average live weight unchanged at 275 pounds.
Lamb and mutton production during December was 12.8 million pounds, up 3% on the year with the kill rising 5% to 189,700 head and average live weight down two pounds at 135 pounds. 2012 production was 156.200 million pounds, 5% above 2011, with the slaughter rising 1% to 2.183 million head, and live weight gaining 5 pounds to 143 pounds.