Processing sector recovering quicker than expected
Daily slaughter totals for both beef and pork have been steadily rising and an ag economist says the recovery to the processing sector following COVID-19 has been impressive.
University of Missouri’s Scott Brown says a month ago no one would have expected to see this. “When we estimated what the length of time the recovery would take, none of us would have suggested weekly hog slaughter would be above year-ago levels,” he says.
And while totals continue to inch closer to pre-COVID-19 levels, he tells Brownfield that’s not been all good news. “You see the change in both the boxed beef price and the pork cutout values you realize that some of that increased slaughter numbers are certainly hurting on the meat side of the equation,” he says.
The Choice boxed beef value has fallen $106 over the past two weeks and the pork cutout value has fallen $22.30 over the same time period.
Brown says a strong economic recovery coupled with strong domestic demand will be a vital component to the ability of the livestock sector to bounce back from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.