Commercial red meat production for the United States during May totaled 3.92 billion pounds, down 7 percent from 4.22 billion pounds produced in May 2008, according to USDA’s Livestock Slaughter report released June 26.

May Beef production, at 2.18 billion pounds, was 8 percent below the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.85 million head, down 9 percent from May 2008.  The average live weight was up 13 pounds from the previous year, at 1,264 pounds.

Veal production during May was down 11 percent from a year ago, with calf slaughter down 8percent from May 2008. Pork production during May totaled 1.72 billion pounds, down 5 percent from the previous year, while hog slaughter totaled 8.45 million head, down 7 percent from May 2008. 

For January through May of this year, commercial red meat production was 20.1 billion pounds, down 4 percent from 2008. Accumulated beef production was down 4 percent from last year, veal was down 1 percent and pork was down 4 percent from last year.

In a separate report, USDA estimates this week’s beef slaughter at 673,000 head, down from last week’s 675,000 and down from 713,000 head for the same week last year. Live and dressed weights, at 1,268 pounds and 769 pounds respectively, were about even with last week and one year ago. The agency estimates beef production for the week at 516 million pounds, down slightly from last week and down significantly compared with 550 million pounds for the same week last year.