January 17, 2023


US beef prices may increase this year due to tighter beef supplies



US ranchers were told by Don Close, American Ag Credit Chief Research and Analytics Officer, that beef prices in the country may increase in 2023 due to tighter beef supplies, The Record-Courier reported.

Close said cattle slaughter in the US is expected to reach 4 million head in 2022, slightly higher than 2011.


At the annual Cattlemen's Update hosted by the University of Nevada, Reno, Close said that there had been a lot of speculation during the second quarter that cow slaughter would drop sharply.


The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the US Department of Agriculture and the Western Center for Risk Management Education are two additional partners in the annual Cattlemen's Update, which is coordinated by the university's College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources and its Extension and Experiment Station units.


Due to rising hay prices, he said, drought had a significant impact on ranchers' decisions to cull their herds throughout the year.


He said that as a result, cattle became lighter and lighter, having nowhere else to go but into feed yards.


Although most ranchers in the Nevada market sell calves, he said that now might be a good time to hold onto those, adding that the market has enough room to keep calves through to 2024,


He said that although spring grazing might be improved as a result of the rainy weather, winter grazing numbers are extremely low.


Close said they don't see the number of winter grazing cattle that usually come in the window of March-May, adding that there has been enough precipitation that spring grazing opportunities may present themselves.


The fed cattle supply is typically at its lowest point in the spring, but prices will be at their highest then.


Close said there was some softening in 2022 after a strong demand for beef in 2021.


Foreign markets, which consume between 12% to 15% of American production, may increase demand. He said that 70–75% of exports go to Asia.


He said China is the third biggest importer of beef behind Japan and South Korea, with Mexico tied for second.


Close also said they expect incredibly good beef prices in 2023, as well as better average prices over the next three to maybe four years.


-      The Record-Courier

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