November 14, 2023
Lower beef, pork, broiler, and turkey forecasts led USDA to reduce its 2023 red meat and poultry production forecast to 1.07 billion pounds (lbs.) in the latest “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.”
Lower beef production, at 26.93 million lbs. was the result of reduced steer and heifer slaughter that more than offset higher expected cow slaughter and higher average dressed weights in the fourth quarter, USDA noted. Pork production, at 27.22 million lbs., declined due to lighter hog dressed weights in the fourth quarter.
On the poultry and egg side, broiler production was lowered to 46.21 million lbs. due to the number eggs set and chicks placed data which suggests further production declines in the fourth quarter. Turkey production was lowered to 5.5 million lbs. based on current hatchery and slaughter data. USDA slightly raised the egg production forecast to 9.18 million doz. eggs, “as higher third quarter reported data more than offsets a reduced fourth quarter forecast.”
Looking to 2024, USDA raised the beef production forecast to 106.53 billion lbs.
“Higher expected steer and heifer placements in the later part of 2023 and first part of 2024 will lead to higher marketings of fed cattle, particularly in the first half of 2024,” USDA noted. “In addition, cow and bull slaughter is raised from last month.”
According to the report, the pace of broiler production growth was reduced from the prior month. Turkey production was also lowered due to continued weakness in turkey markets. Egg production was also reduced, with reductions in the first half of the year more than offsetting increases in the second half.
Price forecasts mixed
USDA left cattle price forecasts for 2023 and 2024 unchanged from the prior month at $177.30/cwt. and $185/cwt., respectively, but did note that weaker prices in the first half of 2024 offset higher prices later in the year. The 2023 hog price forecast was lowered to $58.95/cwt. on prices to date. Lower hog price forecasts are carried into the first half of 2024, with the annual price currently forecast at $60/cwt.
The broiler price forecast for 2023 was lowered to $1.24/lb. on recent data, but 2024 forecasts were raised to $1.24/cwt. with the reduction in expected production. The turkey price forecast for 2023 and 2024 was also lowered, to $1.42/lb. and $1.37/lb., respectively, due to weak demand that is expected to carry into the first part of next year. Egg price forecasts for 2023 were raised to $1.93/doz. on recent prices and strong demand expected ahead of the holiday season, but the price forecast for 2024 was left unchanged at $1.45/doz.
Lower milk production forecast
A reduction in U.S. milk cow numbers caused USDA to lower the milk production forecast for 2023. The forecast for 2024 was also reduced as the lower forecasts of milk cows and milk per cow for late 2023 are carried into the next year. The 2023 all milk price forecast was left unchanged from last month at $20.70/cwt. while the 2024 all milk price was raised to $20.80/cwt.
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