NCBA: 2012 Slaughter Down as Herds Rebuild

US - After seeing the highest cattle slaughter since 1996, and the second largest since 1983, the US cattle inventory could pick up in 2012, said Kevin Good, from CattleFax at the NCBA Convention and Trade Show. Charlotte Johnston, TheCattleSite editor reports.
calendar icon 3 February 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

Drought and high prices pushed more cattle to slaughter last year, liquidating the national herd.

However CattleFax estimates that a total of 2.2 million less cattle will be slaughtered in 2012.

Cow slaughter will fall by 600,000 head in 2012, and by 800,000 head in 2013, as US producers look at rebuilding the national herd.

These numbers combined equate to 12,000 head of cattle less a week, compared to slaughter numbers last year.

Between 2004 and 2005, the cattle herd was allowed to expand, as slaughter numbers fell to all time low levels. Mr Good said that if the US cattle herd is to expand, these slaughter numbers must be seen again.

Despite drought in the South last year, herds in the North found abundant feed sources allowed some growth.

Similarly, heifer retention in the South was low, but numbers increased in the North.

“We are already starting to see Northern herds expand,” said Mr Good. This trend can also be seen in Canada.

However back in the South, in Mexico, drought is still taking its toll on cattle producers and liquidation is continuing.

Feeder supply is expected to be four per cent lower in 2012, down 1.1 million head of cattle, as a result of a smaller cow/calf crop and increased cattle placements last summer.

The smaller calf crop and heifer retention will also see a 400,000 head reduction in heifer and steer slaughter in 2012.

Whilst there is a benefit in the US rebuilding its herd numbers, there will be negative effects of this reflected in the packer sector, where contraction is likely.

Further Reading

- You can view all our NCBA stories by clicking here.
Charlotte Johnston, Editor

Charlotte Johnston - Editor

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.