Cattle slaughter has recovered following COVID disruptions in early January and this has helped bolster beef supplies and pressure beef prices lower. USDA estimated total cattle slaughter last week at 659,000 head, up 41,000 head or 6.6% compared to where it was in mid-January.
The increase has been a result of more fed cattle and cows coming to market. The increase in fed cattle numbers is not a surprise as feedlots were not able to market cattle in a timely fashion in January. The increase in cow slaughter is.