US meat production: Cattle save the balance s...
US meat production

Cattle save the balance sheet

Imago / imagebroker
Nearly 34 million cattle were slaughtered in the US in 2021.
Nearly 34 million cattle were slaughtered in the US in 2021.

USA, Washington. More meat was produced at slaughter plants in the United States last year; however, the increase was relatively small.

According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 48.20 mill. t of beef, pork, sheep, chicken and turkey were commercially produced; that was 122,000 t, or 0.3%, more than in 2020. The mini-increase was primarily due to higher beef production, which grew by 346,100 t, or 2.8%, to 12.67 mill. t. To achieve this, 33.84 million head of cattle were processed; this was 1.05 million head or 3.2% more than the previous year. Continuing to increase, although not as much as before, was US chicken meat production. A moderate increase of 135,000 t, or 0.7%, to 20.36 mill. t set a new production record. This was not matched for hog production, unlike 2020.

The number of pigs slaughtered decreased by 2.59 million head or 2% to just under 129 million head in the year under review. With slaughter weights down slightly, pork production fell by 285,300 t, or 2.2%, to 12.55 mill. t; thus, pork production again fell behind beef, with chicken meat remaining the undisputed leader. Among other meats, turkey meat production fell 2.6% from 2020 to just under 2.54 mill. t. In addition, the amount of sheep and lamb meat produced at slaughter plants fell 0.8% to 62,600 t. For the current year, USDA expects beef production to decline 2.8% and pork 0.6%, according to the latest estimate. In contrast, chicken meat production is expected to increase 1.8%.

Source:; AgE


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