The beef cow inventory has been in expansion mode since 2015, with inventories on Jan. 1 of 2015, 2016 and 2017 all increasing at a rate of 0.7%, 2.9% and 3.5%, respectively. However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported in the latest “Livestock, Dairy & Poultry Outlook” that the pace of beef cow and heifer slaughter suggests that the rate of expansion may have slowed in 2017.
“Beef cow slaughter through October 2017 was 11% higher than the same period in 2016,” the outlook noted.
Preliminary federally inspected beef cow slaughter in November also has been fairly strong and higher than November last year, USDA said. In addition, heifer slaughter saw a 12% increase through October 2017, while steer slaughter has increased by only about 3%.