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Pork boosts October meat production total

Red meat production in October was up slightly on the year.

The total of 4.775 billion pounds was a little bit larger than last year, due to a 3% increase in pork thanks to a higher slaughter pace canceling out a 3% decrease for beef due to lower slaughter and a lighter average weight.

Beef was reported at 2.341 billion pounds with a slaughter of 2.826 million head, 3% less than last year, and an average live weight of 1,374 pounds, 1 pound lighter, while pork came out at 2.419 billion pounds with a slaughter 11.43 million head, 5% more than a year ago, and an average live weight of 285 pounds, down 3.

The dairy cow slaughter during October 2023 was 243,000 head, up 2,500 from September, but down 9,800 from October 2022. For the year to date, the dairy cow slaughter is 2,621,800 head, 91,700 faster than a year ago.

Veal production was a record monthly low, while lamb and mutton production was up ahead of the holidays.

At this point in 2023, U.S. red meat production is 45.21 billion pounds, 2% slower than 2022, mainly due to a 5% decline in beef production.

The USDA’s next set of annual red meat production projections is out December 8th.

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