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CME: Total Meat, Poultry Production Down Due to Memorial Day

05 June 2013

US - Total meat and poultry production was, quite logically, sharply lower than in recent week’s due to last week’s Memorial Day holiday but the week’s total output of 1.636 billion pounds was 5.6 per cent larger than last year, write Steve Meyer and Len Steiner.

That year-on-year change figure must be recognized, though, as a sharp departure from recent weeks during which animal protein production has been within 1 per cent of year ago levels. Note that our calculations include the latest available data for the four major species, meaning that chicken and turkey production from two weeks ago (the week ending 24 May) are used along with last week’s estimated beef and pork output. We believe the magnitude of last week’s year-on-year change was a bit of an anomaly and expect the figures to return to their pre-holiday levels in weeks to come.

Beef production should hit its seasonal peak over the next few weeks. Last week’s output was 462 million pounds, roughly 8 per cent lower than the week before and 1.7 per cent lower than during the week of Memorial Day in 2012. Since running consistently higher, year-on-year, in April, beef production over the past 4 weeks has been almost precisely at the level of one year ago. A normal seasonal pattern would result in weekly output levels of 510 to 520 million pounds per week during June. In spite of monthly placement patterns that have been anything but normal over the past two years, the season pattern of beef production seems intact.

Pork production continues on a relatively normal seasonal decline but, in contrast to recent weeks, was slightly higher than year-ago levels last week. FI pork production for May though May 24 was running 1.7 per cent below year-ago levels — largely due to lower slaughter weights. Last week’s total will put May monthly slaughter about 1 per cent below that of 2012. Note that the historical seasonal pattern points to June production only slightly lower than that of May and July at about the same level as June except, of course, for the week of Independence Day. Last year’s pattern was different with June and July output down sharply from the level of May — a fact that we think was caused by last summer’s early and severe heat. Given recent weather patterns, such doesn’t look likely this year so do not be surprised to see summer hog slaughter and pork production levels somewhat higher than one year ago.

Broiler production is again clearly on a growth path. Though data for the last week of May is not yet available, it appears likely that the monthly total will be 2 per cent higher than last year. Broiler output usually stays at roughly its May level in June and July. But will that be so this year with bnls/sknls breasts over $2.00 per pound for the first time since 2004?


Daily Livestock Report - Copyright © 2008 CME. All rights reserved.


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