Red meat production climbs 1% in 2012

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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WASHINGTON – Commercial red meat production totaled 4.31 billion lbs. in November, up 1 percent from the 4.26 billion lbs. produced a year ago, according to the US Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Beef production climbed 3 percent in 2012 to 2.21 billion lbs., NASS said. Cattle slaughter reached 2.78 million head, down slightly from November 2011. The average live weight increased 28 lbs. compared to weights in 2011, which were at 1,321 lbs., according to NASS.

Veal production declined 7 percent to 10.1 million lbs. Calf slaughter totaled 70,500 head, down 4 percent compared to November 2011, according to NASS. The average live weight dropped 11 lbs. from last year, at 244 lbs.

NASS said pork production declined slightly to 2.08 billion lbs. Hog slaughter totaled 10.11 million head, up 1 percent from November 2011. The average live weight declined 2 lbs. from the previous year, at 276 lbs.

Lamb and mutton production, at 12.4 million lbs., declined 2 percent in 2012. Sheep slaughter totaled 181,800 head, 3 percent below last year. The average live weight gained 2 lbs. to 137 lbs., according to NASS.

January to November 2012 commercial red meat production gained 1 percent to total 45.4 billion lbs. Accumulated beef production declined 1 percent from last year, veal was down 9 percent, pork advanced 3 percent from last year, and lamb and mutton production gained 5 percent, NASS said.

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