WASHINGTON – Commercial red meat production climbed 3 percent in December to total 4.14 billion lbs., the US Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service reported. Red meat production a year ago totaled 4.00 billion lbs.

January to December 2013 commercial red meat production eased 1 percent to 49.2 billion lbs. Accumulated beef production was also declined 1 percent while veal was down 6 percent. NASS said pork, lamb and mutton production registered slight declines.

Pork production for December had the highest gain at 6 percent, or 2.07 billion lbs. Hog slaughter advanced 3 percent compared to a year ago to total 9.74 million head. The average live weight increased 7 lbs. from the previous year, at 283 lbs., NASS reported.

Beef production climbed 1 percent to 2.05 billion lbs. for December 2013. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.56 million head, an increase of 1 percent compared to a year ago, while the average live weight increased 9 percent to 1,333 lbs., according to NASS.

Lamb and mutton production was up 3 percent to 13.2 million lbs. Sheep slaughter was 7 percent higher compared to a year ago at 202,500 head. The average live weight was 130 lbs., down 5 lbs. from a year ago.

Veal production totaled 9.8 million lbs., 1 percent above December 2012. Calf slaughter increased 2 percent to total 66,500 head. The average live weight was declined 2 lbs. compared to last year, at 252 lbs.