Red meat production down in July

The USDA says domestic commercial red meat production during July was 4.234 billion pounds. That’s a 3% decline from July 2021, with beef down 3% on the year to 2.249 billion pounds and pork production falling 4% to 1.97 billion.

The cattle and hog slaughters were also under year ago levels, at 2.781 million and 9.315 million head, respectively, but while the average cattle weight declined 8 pounds to 1,341 pounds per animal, hogs gained weight, up 3 pounds to 284.

The dairy cow slaughter for July 2022 was 230,100 head, down 2,900 from June and a drop of 17,800 from July 2021. For the first seven months of this year, the dairy cow slaughter of 1,750,700 head is 60,300 behind this time last year.

The USDA’s most recent cold storage report did show modest month-to-month decreases for beef and pork stocks partially due to tighter market ready supplies impacting slaughter rates, but both totals were well above a year ago, a sign of slower demand.

For the year to date, U.S. commercial red meat production is 31.960 billion pounds, 1% slower than last year’s pace. That includes a 3% loss in pork canceling out a 1% gain in beef.

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