annual beef cow slaughter rate

Industry At A Glance: Beef Cow Slaughter Rate

The current year is on pace to see an 11.4% slaughter rate of the starting cow inventory - the third-highest annual level since 1996, behind only 2011 and 2010 (12.3% and 11.6%, respectively).

Beef cow slaughter rate [3], measured as a percentage of the beginning inventory, plays a huge role in determining the size of the following year’s beginning inventory. Analyzing that data becomes especially important given that USDA’s mid-year cattle inventory report is no longer available due to federal funding shortfalls.

Thus far in 2013, beef cow slaughter [4] through the first half of the year has equaled approximately 1.6 million head. That’s equivalent to 5.45% of  2013’s starting head count. Perhaps more importantly, though, it surpasses the 10-year average slaughter pace from January-June by nearly 2/3 of a percentage point. In other words, we’re starting with a small inventory [5] (29.3 million cows) and eating through it at a faster rate.

Meanwhile, during the past 10 years, the average slaughter rate during the second half of the year increases by nearly a half percentage point compared to the first half of the year. If that relationship holds in 2013, it’s likely that the beef cow slaughter rate will be nearly 6% between July and December.

beef cow slaughter rate

Given these trends, it appears that 2013 is on pace to slaughter about 11.4% of its starting cow inventory - the third-highest annual level since 1996, behind only 2011 and 2010 (12.3% and 11.6%, respectively).

How do you see weather and market signals shaping up in the second half of the year? Is 2013 a year in which the longer-run trends might get displaced? Or is it a year which plays out pretty much as expected? The implications are very important with respect to next year’s starting inventory [6] (more on that next week).

Leave your thoughts below.

 

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