Market Outlook: Summary

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Source: USDA

The semiannual Cattle report confirms historically tight supplies of cattle heading into 2024. Fewer calves are available than last year for placement in feedlots, although more than previously expected. As a result, anticipated fed cattle marketings have been raised for late 2024, but the marketings are offset by lower anticipated cow slaughter. With more steers and heifers in the slaughter mix, average carcass weights were raised in second-half 2024. From last month, projected beef production in 2024 is raised 75 million pounds to 26.185 billion pounds. Cattle prices in 2023 are raised on firm demand and lower feed costs. Based on estimated weekly import data, this year’s import forecast is expected to set a record at 4.125 billion pounds. Export projections are unchanged at 2.785 billion pounds.

For 2024, Exports as a Share of Production Projected To Shift Slightly

In 2023, beef exports accounted for 11.3 percent of production. In 2024, the share is projected lower at 10.6 percent. For pork, 25.0 percent of production was exported in 2023; the share is projected at 25.4 percent for 2024. Broiler exports were 15.7 percent of production in 2023 and are projected slightly lower at 15.4 percent in 2024. Turkey exports made up 9.0 percent of production in 2023 but are projected to increase to 9.5 percent in 2024.

Bar chart showing exports as a share of production in 2023 and 2024 where pork and turkey increase while beef and broiler meat decrease in 2024

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