September 26, 2023
US red meat production sees decline in August 2023
In August 2023, commercial red meat production in the US totalled 4.673 billion pounds, which marked a 3% decrease from the record monthly high observed in August 2022 due to reduced numbers of market-ready cattle and lower average live weights for swine, Brownfield Ag News reported.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that beef production accounted for 2.363 billion pounds in August, marking a 6% decline compared to the previous year. This reduction was associated with a 6% decrease in the slaughter rate, which stood at 2.89 million head. But the average live weight of cattle increased by three pounds, reaching 1,351 pounds.
It's worth noting that the monthly cattle slaughter rate included mostly lower totals for cattle and heifers compared to the previous year, with dairy cattle being the exception. Dairy cattle slaughter in August reached 275,500 head, reflecting an increase of 31,300 from the previous month and 9,400 from the previous year. Year-to-date dairy cattle slaughter totals reached 2,138,700 head, surpassing the previous year's pace by 121,900.
Pork production in August amounted to 2.295 billion pounds, which was slightly lower than the previous year. This was attributed to a 1% increase in the slaughter rate, reaching 11.123 million head, offset by a four-pound loss in the average live weight, which averaged 278 pounds.
For the year-to-date period, commercial red meat production in the US reached 36.086 billion pounds, reflecting a 2% decline compared to the same period in 2022.
The USDA is scheduled to release its next set of red meat production projections for 2023 on October 12.
- Brownfield Ag News