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CME: Total Commercial FI Cattle Slaughter 98.4%

27 April 2017

US - USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), produces a volume of data which livestock markets depend on. Key reports include monthly "Cattle on Feed", "Quarterly Hogs and Pigs", monthly "Cold Storage", and "Cattle Inventory." NASS also compiles and publishes official slaughter data, according to Steiner Consulting Group, DLR Division, Inc.

Federal law requires slaughter plants to provide data. Primary data for the commercial livestock slaughter estimates are obtained from the daily reports provided electronically by inspectors from USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service at Federally Inspected (FI) plants. Those counts are combined with data from state-administered non-FI plants to derive total commercial slaughter estimates. Data include the number of head that were slaughtered daily under FI by species and class as well as daily live and dressed weights. Data for missing submissions are imputed.

In NASS reported slaughter data, adjusting imputed and preliminary daily slaughter estimates by plants results in a series of revisions. Last week (on 19 April) NASS released the Livestock Slaughter 2016 Summary report (full report is here). Those that maintain databases of NASS reported slaughter data need to be vigilant in incorporating revisions; the 2016 summary report provided the final adjustments to both monthly and weekly data. That annual report includes slaughter data by state, multi-state (regional) summaries, and some data on head processed by plant size. Most US livestock are harvested in FI plants. For 2016, FI slaughter as a percentage of total commercial slaughter was 98.5 per cent for cattle, 98.4 per cent for calves, 99.3 per cent for hogs, and 89.8 per cent for lamb.

FI cattle slaughter, on a daily average basis, including the monthly NASS Livestock report data for March (released Thursday, 20 April and available here) and the revised data for 2016, is shown in the provided graphic. In March, daily harvest was up just over 10,000 head (9.3 per cent) from a year ago and so far this year has been near the prior 5-year average (2011-2015).

Now we dig deeper into the annual NASS slaughter report, turning to the breakdown of the national FI slaughter by plant size and year-over-year changes. The NASS data are summarized in the accompanying tables for cattle and hogs. The smallest category includes plants that slaughtered 1-999 head during calendar year 2016. The largest cattle category is plants with over 1 million head harvested in 2016 and for hogs the largest category is over 4 million head. There are nine size categories for cattle and 10 for hogs. The larger plants distribute nationwide and often to foreign buyers, while the plants in the smaller categories mostly support local markets and farm-direct sales.

For cattle, there were 650 FI slaughter plants in 2016, up 9 from 2015’s. The smallest plants (those that slaughtered 1-999 head in 2016) were 72.5 per cent of the total and slaughtered only 0.5 per cent of the FI animals. The largest 13 plants (which each harvested over 1 million head last year) were 2.0 per cent of the facilities and processed 57.9 per cent of the animals. As with cattle, in the hog sector there are many small plants (59.7 per cent of the total FI facilities), but most of the head harvested (59.5 per cent) occurred in the largest 13 plants, each of which processed over 4 million animals in 2016.


Daily Livestock Report - Copyright © 2008 CME. All rights reserved.


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