April red meat production drops on COVID-19 closures
U.S. commercial red meat production dropped in April as COVID-19 related closures and slowdowns hampered processing speed. Total red meat production was 3.862 billion pounds, a year to year drop of 15%. That’s also 23% less than in March 2020.
Beef production was 1.815 billion pounds, a decline of 20%, with the slaughter down 21% at 2.239 million head, cancelling out a 24-pound gain in the average live weight to 1,353 pounds.
Pork production was 2.031 billion pounds, 10% less than last year, with an 11% decrease in the slaughter to 9.412 million head against a two pound increase in the average live weight at 289 pounds.
Year to date, commercial red meat production is 18.269 billion pounds, still 2% ahead of 2019’s record pace, but with coming reports also reflecting less processing capacity.
April’s dairy cow slaughter was 279,400 head, 8,600 less than in March, but 10.9 million more than in April 2019. The year to date slaughter is 1.132 million head, compared to 1.148 million this time last year.