CME: April Beef, Pork, Poultry Production Up Compared to a Year Ago29 May 2013
US - According to the latest USDA 'Livestock Slaughter' and 'Poultry Slaughter' monthly reports, released on Thursday (23 May), April beef, pork and poultry production was notably higher than a year ago, write Steve Meyer and Len Steiner.
The increase was in part due to calendar differences, with April 2013 containing 22 weekdays vs. 21 weekdays a year ago. Still, even when adjusting for the extra slaughter/production day, output numbers across all three main species were higher. Combined beef, pork and poultry production in April was estimated at 7.810 billion pounds, 6.3 per cent higher than in April 2012. Weekday production in April 2013 was 355 million pounds, compared to 349.8 million pounds a year ago, 1.5 per cent higher than a year ago.
Beef: Total cattle slaughter in April was 2.729 million head, 6.2 per cent higher than the previous year. The average weekday slaughter in April was 123,068 head, 1.4 per cent higher than a year ago. This was the largest weekday slaughter increase since June 2011. The increase in average daily cattle slaughter was driven by more cows coming to market than a year ago. Daily steer/heifer slaughter in April was actually down 0.9 per cent from a year ago while daily average cow slaughter for the month was 11.5 per cent higher than last year. This was the largest year over year increase in daily cow slaughter since September 2011. Cattle carcass weight continue to run above year ago levels but the pace of growth has slowed down. The average steer carcass weight in April was pegged at 844 pounds, 1.1 per cent over a year ago. Total commercial beef production in April was 2.127 billion pounds, 6.9 per cent higher than a year ago. Average daily beef supplies in April were about 96.7 million lb./day, 2.0 per cent higher than the previous year.
Pork: Hog slaughter in April was estimated at 9.361 million head, 6.1 per cent higher than a year ago. The average daily hog slaughter at 425,523 head was 1.2 per cent higher than a year ago. The average hog carcass in April was 208 pounds, 0.5 per cent lower than a year ago. Total pork production in April was estimated at 1.941 billion pounds, 5.4 per cent lower than a year ago. The average supply of pork coming to market in a weekday was 88.2 million pounds, 0.6 per cent higher than last year. Daily pork output has been constrained since last fall (see chart) but lower feed costs and more pigs per litter should help bring more hogs/pork to market later in the year.
Broiler production growth has resumed in recent months despite sharply higher feed costs. Broiler ready-to-cook (RTC) production in April was 3.192 billion pounds, 6.6 per cent higher than a year ago. The average daily broiler production was 145.2 million pounds, 1.8 per cent higher than a year ago and the sixth consecutive month of higher broiler production numbers.
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