September 25, 2003



US Veal, Lamb and Mutton Production At Record Lows For August


Commercial red meat production for the United States totalled 3.91 billion pounds in August, down 5 percent from the 4.14 billion pounds produced in August 2002.


Beef production, at 2.33 billion pounds, was 6 percent below the previous year. Cattle slaughter totalled 3.13 million head, down 2 percent from August 2002. The average live weight was down 34 pounds from the previous year, at 1,225 pounds.


Veal production totalled 14.2 million pounds, a new monthly low and 15 percent below August a year ago. Calf slaughter totalled 79,700 head, down 17 percent from August 2002. The average live weight was 5 pounds above last year, at 294 pounds.


Pork production totalled 1.56 billion pounds, down 5 percent from the previous year. Hog kill totalled 8.04 million head, 6 percent below August 2002. The average live weight was 1 pound above the previous year, at 260 pounds.


Lamb and mutton production, at 15.7 million pounds, was down 6 percent from August 2002 and was a new monthly low. Sheep slaughter totalled 241,200 head, 9 percent below last year. The average live weight was 129 pounds, up 3 pounds from August a year ago.


January to August 2003 commercial red meat production was 31.0 billion pounds, down 1 percent from 2002. Accumulated beef production was down 1 percent from last year, veal was down slightly, pork was down slightly from last year, and lamb and mutton production was down 10 percent.