Pork carcasses hanging in cooler marina_karkalicheva/iStock/Thinkstock

USDA reports record-high total red meat, poultry production

Poultry cold storage supplies increase, while red meat supplies decrease.

Commercial red meat production for the U.S. totaled 4.28 billion lb. in May, up 7% from the 4.00 billion lb. produced in May 2016, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

Beef production, at 2.16 billion lb., was 6% above the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.75 million head, 9% higher than May 2016. The average live weight was down 26 lb. from the previous year to 1,307 lb.

Pork production increased 8% year over year to 2.10 billion lb. Hog slaughter totaled 9.95 million head, up 8% from May 2016. The average live weight was down 1 lb. from the previous year to 282 lb.

January to May 2017 commercial red meat production was 21.0 billion lb., up 4% from the same period of 2016. Accumulated beef production was up 5% from last year, veal was down 2%, pork was up 3% and lamb and mutton production was down 5%.

June cold storage

Combined red meat and poultry supplies in USDA’s June “Cold Storage” report totaled 2.37 billion lb., unchanged from the prior month.

Frozen poultry supplies on May 31, 2017, totaled 1.32 billion lb., 4% more than the previous month and 4% more than a year ago. Total stocks of chicken were down 1% from the previous month and down 3% from last year, at 785 million lb. Total turkey in freezers was up 13% from last month and up 17% from May 31, 2016, at 534 million lb.

Total red meat supplies in freezers were down 5% from the previous month and down 7% from last year, at 1.04 billion lb. Total beef in freezers was down 10% from the previous month and down 11% from last year, at 413 million lb. Frozen pork supplies were down slightly from the previous month and down 4% from last year, at 592 million lb. Stocks of pork bellies were down 6% from last month and down a significant 59% from last year.

Total natural cheese stocks in refrigerated warehouses on May 31, 2017, were up 1% from the previous month and up 7% from May 31, 2016. Butter stocks were up 7% from last month but down 3% from a year ago.

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