In this file:

 

·         Red meat production plunges 23% during April amid pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has punctured expectations of record-high red meat and poultry production this year.

 

·         USDA reports tightened meat inventories

US meat inventories have contracted after COVID-19 outbreaks shuttered slaughterhouses – USDA.

 

·         USDA: Red Meat Production Down 15 Percent From Last Year

Beef production, at 1.82 billion pounds, was 20 percent below the previous year…  

Pork production totaled 2.03 billion pounds, down 10 percent from the previous year…

 

 

Red meat production plunges 23% during April amid pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has punctured expectations of record-high red meat and poultry production this year.

 

By Chuck Abbott, Successful Farming

Agriculture.com - 5/22/2020

 

U.S. meatpackers ran at roughly three-fourths capacity during April as outbreaks of the coronavirus forced some of the country’s largest meat plants to close temporarily, said the USDA on Thursday. Production is rebounding in May, but the risk of a resurgence of the virus hangs over the industry, said analysts.

 

Hormel Foods said it had absorbed $20 million in “incremental supply chain costs primarily related to lower production volumes, employee bonuses, and enhanced safety measures” at its plants in the past three months. It said it could chalk up an additional $60 million to $80 million for the second half of the year.

 

The coronavirus pandemic has punctured expectations of record-high red meat and poultry production this year. Last week, the USDA lowered its 2020 meat forecast by nearly 5 billion pounds, mostly in beef and pork, “as the sector adjusts to COVID-19 and economic uncertainty.”

 

Packing plants produced 3.86 billion pounds of beef, pork, veal, and mutton during April, 1.1 billion pounds less than in March, a drop of 23%, said the monthly Livestock Slaughter report. The USDA was scheduled to release April poultry data on Friday.

 

“We’ve shown significant improvement in processing numbers over the past several days,” said Jayson Lusk, a Purdue University meat expert. “In early May, we were running about 40% below 2019, and now we are ‘only’ about 15% below last year’s numbers in beef and pork.” Wholesale meat prices, which spiked as retail supplies of meat tightened, “are coming off some all-time highs. In short, we’re seeing significant progress,” said Lusk.

 

Cattle slaughter is relatively steady throughout the year, while hog slaughter is highest in fall and winter. “If we have a COVID resurgence for some reason, that could again stress the system’s ability to push through the number of animals,” said Seth Meyer, associate director of the FAPRI think tank...

 

... “The COVID-19 pandemic has created industry uncertainty as to whether we will experience further interruptions,” said Hormel’s chief executive, Jim Snee...

 

... Tyson Foods said that 570 employees at its poultry plant in Wilkesboro, North Carolina – more than a quarter of the facility’s workforce – have tested positive for COVID-19...

 

more

https://www.agriculture.com/news/business/red-meat-production-plunges-23-percent-during-april-amid-pandemic

 

 

USDA reports tightened meat inventories

US meat inventories have contracted after COVID-19 outbreaks shuttered slaughterhouses – USDA.

 

The Pig Site

22 May 2020

 

USDA data shows that US frozen pork inventories fell in April, countering a forecasted rise. Beef inventories dropped more than normal as the global health crisis shut slaughterhouses and spurred grocers to limit customers’ buying.

 

Reuters reports that about 20 meat plants shut in April 2020 while consumers were stocking freezers during state-imposed lockdowns. President Trump issued an executive order making the plants stay open after meatpackers warned of shortages.

 

Total pork inventories in cold-storage facilities declined about 2 million pounds to 614.8 million pounds as of 30 April, compared to a month earlier, according to USDA data. Normally supplies increase 27 million pounds from March to April, said Rich Nelson, chief strategist for broker Allendale.

 

Total beef inventories fell by about 12 million pounds to 490 million pounds, exceeding the average decline of about 6 million pounds from March to April.

 

"There was a moderate drawdown story for pork," Nelson said. "It was nothing like a catastrophic scare."

 

Inventories of pork bellies, which are cured into bacon, rose by 2.7 million pounds from March to 80.87 million pounds, according to the USDA. Typically they increase by about 7 million pounds over that period, according to Allendale.

 

Prices for pork bellies tumbled as restaurants closed dining rooms, but other cuts have become more expensive due to stronger retail demand.

 

Much of the meat in cold storage is destined for export markets, rather than US grocery stores, analysts said...

 

more, including links

https://thepigsite.com/news/2020/05/usda-reports-tightened-meat-inventories

 

 

CME Group / Daily Livestock Report

 

http://www.dailylivestockreport.com/documents/dlr%2005-22-20.pdf

 

 

Red Meat Production Down 15 Percent From Last Year

 

By the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Agricultural Statistics Board, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Released May 21, 2020

 

Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 3.86 billion pounds in April, down 15 percent from the

4.55 billion pounds produced in April 2019.

 

Beef production, at 1.82 billion pounds, was 20 percent below the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.24 million

head, down 21 percent from April 2019. The average live weight was up 24 pounds from the previous year, at

1,353 pounds.

 

Pork production totaled 2.03 billion pounds, down 10 percent from the previous year. Hog slaughter totaled 9.41 million

head, down 11 percent from April 2019. The average live weight was up 2 pounds from the previous year, at 289 pounds.

 

entire report

https://downloads.usda.library.cornell.edu/usda-esmis/files/rx913p88g/1831d5250/w9505m335/lstk0520.pdf