July 11, 2020

Beef and pork supply chain recovering

Topic: Issues

Slaughter rates are returning to near normal and weekly beef and pork production is exceeding year ago levels, but it wasn’t that long ago that consumers were emptying grocery store shelves and processing facilities were closing due to labor and COVID-19 issues – leading to daily dire predictions of meat shortages in the U.S.

The self-distancing and quarantine protocols put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 reduced economic growth, shuttered consumers in their homes and changed the way Americans purchase and consume food. Food production, too, was significantly disrupted, especially at livestock processing facilities, where labor shortages and worker protection measures slowed throughput at plants around the country and even caused some facilities to shut down. Now, just a few short months later, the story has shifted to one of potential oversupply, soft demand and a (relative) return to normal in terms of the volume of product moving through the system.

Read the rest of the report on AFBF's Market Intel page.