Meat & Livestock News

US Livestock and Poultry Production Sees Increase in January 2024


  • January 2024 saw an uptick in the production of red meat, pork, and poultry in the US.
  • Higher average weights compensated for fewer slaughters in red meat production.
  • Pork and poultry production increased, with notable growth in duck and chicken outputs.

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has unveiled its findings for January 2024, indicating a positive shift in the production volumes of key livestock and poultry categories. This report sheds light on the dynamics within the sector, revealing an overall growth in production despite variances in slaughter numbers.

In the red meat category, even though the number of slaughters dipped — with beef and veal slaughters dropping by 2% and 12% respectively — the total production volume didn’t falter. This resilience is attributed to a significant rise in the average weight of beef and veal, which saw increases, notably veal by 45 pounds, balancing out the reduced slaughter counts.

Pork production presented a promising picture as well, registering a 2% year-on-year increase to reach 2.47 billion pounds. This growth came about even as the average weight per pig saw a minor reduction of 1 pound from the previous year’s figures.

The poultry sector echoed this upward trend, marking a 2% increase in production from January 2023. Detailed figures reveal a 2% rise in young chicken production and a 1% increase in mature chicken outputs. While turkey production slightly declined by 1%, duck production experienced a robust 6% growth. The aggregate ready-to-cook weight for poultry also climbed by 2% compared to the same period last year.

Health assessments within poultry production noted a slight uptick in antemortem condemnations, contrasting with a marginal decrease in post-mortem condemnations. This nuanced view offers insights into the health and quality standards prevailing in poultry production as of January 2024.

This January’s data underscores a strong start to 2024 for the US livestock and poultry sectors, highlighting increased production capacities and efficiency gains despite the challenges in slaughter volumes and average weights.