December red meat output down; pork record high

by Staff
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WASHINGTON — Total commercial red meat production for the United States in December 2011 was down 3% from a year earlier, even though pork production was record high for the month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its latest Livestock Slaughter report.

December 2011 commercial red meat production was 4,216.4 million lbs, down 1% from November and down 3% from December 2010, the U.S.D.A. said. January–December red meat production was 49,236.3 million lbs, up slightly from 49,039.4 million lbs a year earlier.

December beef production was 2,127.2 million lbs, down 1% from November and down 6% from December 2010. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.75 million head, down 6% from the previous year. The average live weight of cattle at slaughter was 1,297 lbs, down 8 lbs from December 2010.

Pork production was 2,065.9 million lbs, down 1% from November but up 1% from the previous year and record high for the month of December, the U.S.D.A. said. Commercial hog slaughter totaled 9.94 million head, up slightly from the previous year. The average live weight of slaughter hogs was 278 lbs, up 1 lb from the previous year.

Veal production of 10.7 million lbs was down 1% from November and down 8% from the previous year. Calf slaughter totaled 72,900 head, down 6% from December 2010. The average live weight of calves at slaughter was 253 lbs, down 8 lbs from the previous year.

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