Although expected, Thursday’s monthly Livestock Slaughter report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service provided perspective to the much-discussed bubble of extra-heavy cattle. There were 2% fewer fed cattle slaughtered under federal inspection in September compared with the previous September—with the same number of possible production days. But, beef production from those cattle was 1% more—2.06 billion pounds. At 1,386 pounds per head, the average slaughter weight was 3% more than last year—an additional 39 pounds per head.
Related to that, total pounds of frozen beef at the end of September were record-large for the month; the data series began in 1915. According to the monthly Cold Storage report, there was 6% more beef in freezers compared with the previous month and 31% more than the same time a year earlier.
Frozen pork supplies were record high for the month of September, too. Frozen pork at the end of September was 19% more than a year earlier.
Total red meat in storage was 2% more than the previous month and 24% more than the previous year. Total red meat in cold storage was also record-large for the month, going back to 1916.
Total frozen stocks of chicken were 2% more than the previous month and 28% more than a year earlier.
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