Market Outlook

See the latest Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook report.


Beef/Cattle: Tighter supplies of cattle will continue to pull down U.S. beef production in 2024, an 8-percent decline year over year to 24.7 billion pounds. As a result, aggregate domestic beef disappearance in 2024 is expected to decline more than 7 percent to the retail-equivalent basis of 52.8 pounds per capita, the lowest since records began in 1970. In 2023, a temporal shift in expected feeder calf placements and stronger cow slaughter lifts the production forecast to 26.9 billion pounds. Cattle prices are projected to reach new highs in 2024, and the 2023 forecast was raised as well. The 2024 trade forecast is raised for imports on lower expected cow slaughter, but 2024 exports will see another year of decline as domestic production shrinks.

First-Quarter 2023 Animal Products Export Volumes Largely Favorable Compared to Volumes in First-Quarter 2022

A comparison between first-quarter 2023 exports of seven animal products with the exports of the same products in the same period last year show that four products were year-over-year greater and three were lower in 2023. In the first quarter of this year, more lamb and mutton (+31.1 percent), pork (+8.3 percent), broilers (+2.5 percent), and dairy products (+6.5 percent) were exported compared with a year earlier, due mostly to favorable prices and the depreciating value of the U.S. dollar. Lower first-quarter 2023 exports of beef and veal (-7.9 percent) are attributable to lower production due to drought conditions in major U.S. cattle production regions as well as higher prices and competition with Australia and New Zealand. Shipments of eggs and egg products (-22.3 percent) and turkey (-21.3 percent) were also lower, both due to export restrictions related to high pathogenic avian influenza.

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