May 29, 2023


US beef output dropped 11% in April 2023



The United States' commercial red meat production fell sharply in April.


The United States Department of Agriculture said a total of 4.2 billion pounds was down 8% on the year, including an 11% drop in beef production to 2.069 billion and a 4% decline in pork to 2.119 billion pounds. The decreases were due to tighter ready numbers limiting slaughter levels and lighter average weights.


Cattle slaughter was 2.544 million head, 10% less than a year ago, with an average weight of 1,354 pounds, 19 lighter, while hog slaughter was 9.77 million head, a decrease of 3%, with an average weight of 291 pounds, down 2%.


The April 2023 dairy cow slaughter was 243,600 head, 62,600 lower than March, but 5,800 higher than April 2022. The year-to-date dairy cow slaughter is 1.114 million head, up 51,800 from this time last year.


Heifer and cow and sow slaughter numbers were below year ago levels, which could be a sign some operations are slowing down liquidation.


For 2023 to date, commercial red meat production is 18.141 billion pounds, 2% slower than the 2022 pace.


The USDA's next set of annual meat production estimates is out on June 9.

- Brownfield Ag News

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