ArrowStream economists have been closely watching protein production and are beginning to see signals of improvement. But while this is encouraging news, they also warn further plant disruptions could continue as the COVID-19 landscape evolves.
“Last week pork output was 4.2 percent better than 2019 while beef production was down only .4 percent. As the chart shows, total beef, pork and chicken output was likely better than the previous year (we say likely as these are USDA estimates). Cattle and hog slaughter are expected to improve during the next few weeks. The best-case scenario may be that these plants reach 95 percent capacity due to operation adjustments for employee safety. And we’d offer, we’re getting close to those levels. Thus, weekly gains in protein output could be tempered this summer. Also important to note that many plants continue to struggle with COVID-19 which could cause further plant disruptions.”
Related Blog Posts & Podcasts:
- PODCAST: Holy Cow! Restaurant Supply Chains Post-COVID-19 with David Maloni
- BLOG POST: COVID-19’s Historic Protein Supply Decline