January pork production dips 1%

by Erica Shaffer
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WASHINGTON – Commercial red meat production in the United States declined 1 percent in January compared to a year ago, the US Dept. of Agriculture said in its Livestock Slaughter report. Commercial red meat production totaled 4.06 billion lbs. in January, down from 4.09 billion lbs. reported in January 2015.

Beef production slipped 1 percent to 1.95 billion lbs. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.36 million head, a 2 percent decline from a year ago. However, the average live weight jumped 23 lbs. from the previous year to 1,381 lbs., according to USDA.

Pork production was 1 percent below January 2015 at 6.7 million lbs. Hog slaughter for the month totaled 9.74 million head, while the average live weight dropped 2 lbs. from the previous year to 285 lbs.

Veal production eased 2 percent. Calf slaughter was 5 percent higher at 41,800 head, but live weights dropped 17 lbs. compared to a year ago to 274 lbs. Meanwhile, lamb and mutton production retreated 4 percent to 11.2 million lbs. in January. Sheep slaughter totaled 161,400 head, a 3 percent decline from January 2015. The average live weight dropped 1 lb. to 139 lbs.

January 2015 contained 22 weekdays (including two holidays) and five Saturdays, while January 2016 contained 21 weekdays (including two holidays) and five Saturdays.

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