Market Outlook

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

Summary

Beef/Cattle: The forecast for beef production in 2023 is unchanged from the last month. However, current poor forage conditions and high operating costs continue to push producers’ beef cow culling rates up, and calves are being placed on feed at a faster-than-expected pace. Higher anticipated cow slaughter and higher expected second-half 2022 fed cattle marketings more than offset lower expected carcass weights, resulting in a marginal increase in 2022 production to 27.9 billion pounds. Fed cattle prices are unchanged, but 2022 feeder cattle prices are reduced slightly on price data. The 2022 import forecast is projected lower, but exports are raised. Despite elevated year-over-year trade in the first half of 2022, imports and exports are expected to decline 8 percent and 5 percent, respectively, in the second half of the year.

Forecasts for 2023 Show Mostly Higher Year-Over-Year Production, Lower Prices

The figure below shows the percentage changes in USDA production and price forecasts for 2023, compared with 2022. Among the main red meat proteins, beef production is forecast to decrease (-7.0 percent), and cattle prices are expected to increase (+9.4 percent). These changes are driven by tighter cattle supplies as the cattle herd contracts in response to the drought that negatively impacted pasture and forage areas over the past several years. The production projections for the remainder of major animal proteins are expected to increase as follows: pork, +0.5 percent, broilers, +0.8 percent, turkeys, +5.6 percent, and table-eggs, +5.8 percent. The higher pork production forecast derives from a larger first-half 2023 pig crop and continued modest growth in sow productivity. The modest expected increase in broiler production adds to a decade-long steady growth trend of the industry. The larger changes in turkey and egg production forecasts reflect the expectation of continuing recovery from the 2022 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak. These production forecast increases are expected, in turn, to drive the forecast prices lower: hogs, -0.2 percent, broilers -3.7 percent, turkeys, -2.9 percent, and eggs, -22.8 percent. Milk production is forecast to increase (+1.3 percent), while the all-milk price is forecast to decrease (-9.2 percent).