Beef Output and Cattle Slaughter See Uptick But Still Trail 2022
Beef production rose to an estimated 529.7 million pounds this week, an 18.3% increase over last week’s 447.9 million pound estimate, according to USDA data. However, output still comes in 3.8% below the 550.9 million pounds produced in the comparable week last year.
Similarly, cattle slaughter for the week is up 18% after totalling 635,000 head, versus 538,000 head during the prior week. Yet the latest number remains 3.8% lower than the 660,000 head slaughtered in the same 2022 week.
On the weight front, average estimated live cattle weights edged up to 1,385 pounds this week, adding 3 pounds from the previous week’s 1,382 pound figure. But the latest still trails the actual 1,388 pound average in the year-ago week by 3 pounds. Estimated dressed cattle weights averaged 836 pounds, one pound over last week and equal to 2022’s actual dressed weight for the week.
The data shows cattle supplies still face obstacles in reaching 2022 levels. Live cattle futures finished Friday at $169.125 per hundredweight, falling $1.60 from Thursday’s close. January feeder cattle futures settled at $214.425 after a $5.525 daily drop. Further commodity impacts could sway weekly production and slaughter trends in the months ahead.