In 2005, U.S. per capita consumption of red meat and poultry was below a year earlier by nearly one pound on a retail weight basis. Per person consumption of chicken increased in 2005 by about one pound. However, consumption declined for all major red meats (beef, pork, lamb and veal) and for turkey. 

Per capita consumption is a calculated number and incorporates domestic production adjusted for imports, exports, frozen stocks at year-end and population.

In 2005, U.S. per person consumption (retail weight basis) of beef, pork and lamb were all below 2004 levels. Strong export markets pulled-down domestic pork availability resulting in pork consumption at about 50 pounds per person in 2005, compared to slightly more than 51 pounds in 2004.  Per capita consumption of beef was about 65.5 pounds in 2005 compared to just over 66 pounds in 2004.  U.S. consumption in 2005 of lamb and mutton declined slightly.

Looking to 2006, due to low wholesale prices, U.S. chicken producers will likely pull back production growth rates.  Still, large supplies could easily cause U.S. per capita broiler supplies and consumption to increase in 2006. 

If U.S. beef exports continue to rebound in 2006, larger domestic production will translate into only a very small increase in per person beef consumption. U.S. pork consumption may be flat to decline slightly in 2006 if export markets continue to post year-to-year gains. U.S. lamb consumption is expected to increase in 2006, mostly caused by an increase in domestic production.

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