December Livestock Slaughter Report...

Released by USDA on January 20, 2022

Record High Beef Production in December

  • December 2020 contained 23 weekdays (including 1 holiday) and 4 Saturdays.
  • December 2021 contained 23 weekdays (including 1 holiday) and 4 Saturdays.

Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 4.78 billion pounds in December, down 1 percent from the 4.86 billion pounds produced in December 2020.

  • Beef production, at 2.36 billion pounds, was 1 percent above the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.82 million head, up 1 percent from December 2020. The average live weight was up 3 pounds from the previous year, at 1,392 pounds.
  • Veal production totaled 5.3 million pounds, 7 percent below December a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 38,700 head, down 5 percent from December 2020. The average live weight was down 5 pounds from last year, at 237 pounds.
  • Pork production totaled 2.40 billion pounds, down 4 percent from the previous year. Hog slaughter totaled 11.1 million head, down 4 percent from December 2020. The average live weight was down 2 pounds from the previous year, at 292 pounds.
  • Lamb and mutton production, at 11.6 million pounds, was down 4 percent from December 2020. Sheep slaughter totaled 187,100 head, 5 percent below last year. The average live weight was 123 pounds, up 1 pound from December a year ago.

January to December 2021 commercial red meat production was 55.8 billion pounds, up slightly from 2020.

Accumulated beef production was up 3 percent from last year, veal was down 17 percent, pork was down 2 percent from last year, and lamb and mutton production was down 1 percent.

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