May red-meat production down 5%

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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WASHINGTON – Commercial red-meat production in May was down 5 percent to 3.95 billion lbs. compared to 4.15 billion lbs. a year ago, the US Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reported.

Beef production was 7 percent below the previous year to 2.07 billion lbs. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.63 million head, down 8 percent from May 2013, NASS reported. The average live weight of cattle slaughtered was 1,299 lbs., up 10 lbs. compared to a year ago.

NASS reported veal production dropped 14 percent in May to 7.8 million lbs. Calf slaughter dropped 20 percent to 46,700 head. The average live weight was up 19 lbs. from May 2013 to 284 lbs., according to NASS.

Pork production slipped 2 percent to 1.86 billion lbs. Hog slaughter totaled 8.62 million head, 6 percent below year ago totals, according to NASS. The average live weight of hogs slaughtered was 287 lbs., up 11 lbs. compared to a year ago.

Lamb and mutton production eased 4 percent to 13.9 million lbs., NASS reported. Sheep slaughter totaled 194,600 head, down 7 percent compared to a year ago. The average live weight was up 11 lbs. to 143 lbs.

Commercial red-meat production from January to May 2014 totaled 19.6 billion lbs., down 3 percent from the comparable year ago period, according to NASS. Compared to 2013, accumulated beef production declined 5 percent, veal dropped 10 percent, pork was down 1 percent and lamb and mutton production climbed 1 percent.
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