By Cassie Fish,

One major High Plains packing plant took Monday off yesterday and another one has slowed chain speeds. Monday’s USDA F.I. slaughter was only 100k head compared to a ‘normal’ 128k head. With no plants running next Saturday, Sunday or Monday, production cuts are big and deep.

These cuts have boosted boxed beef cutout values big time, the choice yesterday a little over $20/cwt higher than the low December 6. No doubt the extra pounds removed from the available supply sent end users scrambling to cover needs. Remember 2022 beef production has been record large, so end users have not been placed in this position for a long time.

The net result of all this is packer margins are improving quickly.

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'The Beef' is published by Consolidated Beef Producers