The Trip Back to 'Normal' Slaughter Levels
Tuesday, May 26th, was a relative milestone for the hog industry as of late. The day’s kill was estimated at 405,000 head, the first time daily slaughter reached the 400,000 mark since April 17th. While this is a small victory, it is a victory nonetheless for an industry that has seen a precipitous drop in chain speeds due to COVID-19. The last time hog slaughter was near ‘normal’ was the week ended April 18th. Just two months ago, the industry achieved the largest daily hog slaughter on record at 500,879 head. As worker absenteeism and plant shutdowns disrupted chain speeds drastically during the last week of April, daily kill dropped to as low as 267,367 head, nearly 47% off its peak.
It has been a slow but steady climb back to ‘normal’ slaughter levels. The improvement in production capabilities during the latest five weeks has helped nudge last week’s kill to over 2 million head. Early indications for this Saturday’s slaughter are pushing...
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