August 14, 2023
Lower beef, pork and broiler production forecasts led the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reduce its forecast for 2023 red meat and poultry production to 107.55 billion pounds (lbs.) in the latest “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates” report.
The beef production forecast was lowered to 28.96 billion pounds due to lower steer and heifer slaughter and lighter dressed weights. The decline in the pork production forecast to 27.26 billion lbs. reflected lighter dressed weights, USDA said, even as slaughter was raised slightly.
On the poultry side, 2023 broiler production, at 46.98 billion lbs., was reduced on lower expected eggs set and continued relatively low hatchability. Turkey production, on the other hand, was raised to 5.58 billion lbs. on slaughter data and hatchery data. In the August report, 2023 egg production was lowered to 9.24 billion doz. eggs, which USDA said was the result of hatchery data indicating lower-than-previously-expected flock productivity and slower additions of pullets to the laying flock.
Looking ahead to 2024, USDA raised the red meat and poultry production forecast to 106.53 billion lbs. on higher beef and turkey production which more than offsets lower broiler production.
Beef production was raised to 25.17 billion, which USDA said reflects higher expected placements in late 2023 and early 2024. In additional to these cattle, which are expected to be slaughtered during 2024, USDA said cow slaughter is also expected to be higher for the first part of 2024.
Pork production, at 27.34 billion lbs., was unchanged from July.
USDA raised turkey production slightly for early 2024, to 5.65 billion lbs. Growth in broiler production is slowed with lower prices expected to reduce producer margins. USDA estimates 2024 broiler production at 47.47 billion lbs. The 2024 egg production estimate of 9.53 billion doz. eggs was also lowered due to a slower pace of egg production growth in 2023.
Regarding milk production, USDA raised the forecasts for both 2023 and 2024 to 227.90 billion lbs. and 230.5 billion lbs., respectively. USDA noted the cow inventory was lowered for both years based on the July 1 dairy cow inventory and heifer retention data provided in the recent “Cattle” report, as well as the average cow inventory data in the latest “Milk Production” report.
Cattle, hog price forecasts raised
Cattle price forecasts for 2023 and 2024 were raised to $178.50/cwt. and $186.00/cwt., respectively, on continued firm packer demand. The 2023 hog price forecast was raised to $62.20/cwt. on current price strength, but USDA left the 2024 price forecast unchanged.
The broiler price forecasts for 2023 and 2024 were lowered to $1.22/lb. and $1.21/lb., respectively. Turkey price forecasts for 2023 and 2024 were lowered to $1.52/lb. and $1.54/lb., respectively, on current prices and expectations of continued weak demand. Egg price forecasts were left unchanged at $1.82/doz. and $1.44/doz., respectively.
USDA raised the 2023 butter, cheese and nonfat dry milk (NDM) price forecasts from the previous month but lowered the whey price forecasts. The Class III price was raised as the higher cheese price more than offsets lower whey. The 2023 Class IV price forecast was raised due to higher butter and NDM prices. USDA raised its 2023 all milk price forecast to $19.95/cwt.
For 2024, USDA said butter and cheese price forecasts were raised, the result of strong prices carrying over from 2023. Whey prices were lowered, while the NDM forecast was unchanged. The Class III price was raised as stronger cheese prices more than offset lower whey prices. The Class IV price was raised based on higher butter prices. The all milk price was raised to $19.35/cwt.
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