January red meat production down 3% on year

U.S. red meat production got off to a slow start in 2021.

The USDA says commercial red meat production was down 3% from January 2020 at 4.802 billion pounds, with slower processing paces for beef and pork cancelling out heavier average live weights.

Beef came out at 2.309 billion pounds, 3% lower than last year, with a 5% decrease in the slaughter to 2.745 million head against a 24 pound gain in the average live weight at 1,399 pounds.

Pork was reported at 2.477 billion pounds, also 3% lower with a 5% decrease in slaughter at 11.250 million head and a 5 pound gain for the average live weight to 295 pounds.

The USDA’s red meat production totals for 2020 are out in April and should show all-time highs for red meat and pork and a slight decline in beef.

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