December 1, 2008

US beef packer margins fall 4 percent on back of stronger dollar


During October, 1.06 million tonnes of beef was produced in the US – down 4 percent on-year.


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said declines in slaughter were recorded across steer, heifer and dairy cow categories, with the slaughter of steers down 6 percent, heifers 7 percent and dairy cows 4 percent.


The fall in production volume is mainly due to the tightening of fed cattle supplies, as cattle on feed numbers have been declining since May this year. Recent reports also indicate that US processors are hesitant to process larger numbers, as operating margins are being squeezed by the stronger US dollar and declining by-product values.

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