WASHINGTON – Red-meat production for March declined 5 percent to 3.81 billion lbs. from 3.99 billion lbs., the US Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service reported.

Beef production was 5 percent lower compared to a year ago at 1.94 billion lbs. NASS reported 2.45 million head of cattle were slaughtered, down 5 percent from March 2013. The average live weight climbed 5 lbs. to 1,318 lbs.

Pork production declined 4 percent to 1.85 billion lbs. compared to a year ago. Hog slaughter was down 7 percent to 8.67 million, NASS reported. Average live weights were up 8 percent to 285 lbs.

Veal production was down 5 percent to 8.7 million lbs., according to NASS. Calf slaughter dropped 14 percent to 53,600 head. The average live weight was up 25 lbs. at 277 lbs.

Lamb and mutton production was 13.2 million lbs. in March, 5 percent lower compared to a year ago. Sheep slaughter eased 4 percent to 190,000 head. The average live weight was 139 lbs., down 1 lb. from March 2013.

Commercial red-meat production from January to March 2014 was 11.7 billion lbs., down 2 percent from the comparable year-ago period. Accumulated beef production declined 5 percent; veal was down 9 percent; pork advanced slightly compared to a year ago and lamb and mutton production for the period was down 1 percent.