In its latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) for January 2024, the USDA has revised its production estimates for 2023, signaling positive trends in the agricultural sector. The report indicates an increase in beef production forecasts for the first half of the year, attributed to higher production levels in the fourth quarter of 2023. This adjustment is based on the agency’s preliminary assessments of slaughter numbers and weights for December.
Despite a surge in beef, pork, and broiler production in the latter part of 2023, the report highlights a reduction in beef export estimates for the same year. Conversely, import estimates have been raised, influenced by recent trade data. The lower beef export forecast is linked to weaker sales in several Asian markets. However, the report suggests an uptick in broiler exports and turkey exports for 2023.
Looking ahead to 2024, the USDA anticipates increased beef production due to higher expected first-half cattle slaughter and enhanced dressed weights. First-half pork production for 2024 is also adjusted upwards, reflecting pig crop data from the second half of 2023. Additionally, slight increases in broiler exports and turkey exports are predicted for 2024, with a focus on the competitiveness of turkey meat prices in global markets.
This USDA report provides valuable insights into the evolving dynamics of the agricultural landscape, highlighting both challenges and opportunities for the coming year.