Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 3.95 billion pounds in December, up 1 percent from the 3.93 billion pounds produced in December 2004, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Pork production totaled 1.87 billion pounds, up slightly from the previous year. Hog kill totaled 9.23 million head, slightly below December 2004. The average live weight was 2 pounds above the previous year, at 272 pounds.

Beef production, at 2.06 billion pounds, was 1 percent above the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.67 million head, down 1 percent from December 2004.

January to December 2005 commercial red meat production was 45.7 billion pounds, up 1 percent from 2004. Accumulated pork production was up 1 percent from last year and beef production was up 1 percent.

In addition, December retail pork prices were up 0.6 percent from November but the same as December 2004. For the year of 2005 retail pork prices were up 1.3 percent from 12 months earlier.

With pork production and retail prices up for 2005, domestic demand will need to increase to help keep these prices in check.