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Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook highlights market trends

Amidst inflationary pressures, varied price trends have emerged, notably with a sharp decrease in egg prices due to Avian Influenza impacts.

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Andreas Göllner | Pixabay

The United State Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service has released its June 2024 Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook, detailing trends in retail prices and production forecasts for key animal products.

Protein prices analysis

Between January 2021 and May 2024, retail prices per gram of protein for various livestock, poultry, and egg products showed a general upward trend due to inflation. However, in the first five months of 2024, several products saw year-over-year price decreases. Bone-in chicken legs, boneless chicken breast, eggs, and boneless ham all became more affordable, with egg prices dropping significantly by 23.6%. Conversely, prices for ground beef and boneless pork chops increased. Egg prices, particularly volatile due to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreaks, deviated from the trends of other animal products.


The 2024 beef production forecast remains steady, with heavier cattle weights expected to offset tight supplies. The 2025 forecast anticipates higher production due to continued heavy weights and market shifts. Beef trade forecasts are unchanged.


Lamb price forecasts for 2024 and 2025 have been increased by $10-$20 per hundredweight (cwt).


Milk production forecasts for 2024 and 2025 remain at 227.3 and 229.3 billion pounds, respectively. Dairy product prices for 2024 have been adjusted upwards, with Cheddar cheese, dry whey, butter, and NDM all seeing increases. The all-milk price for 2024 is forecasted at $21.60 per cwt, up $0.40 from the previous projection, and $21.50 per cwt for 2025, up $0.60.


Second-quarter pork production has been adjusted upward by 40 million pounds to 6.730 billion pounds, driven by higher average weights and a larger than-expected hog supply. Hog prices for the second and third quarters have been lowered, reflecting weaker prices compared to a year ago. U.S. pork exports for 2024 are projected to increase by 100 million pounds to 7.362 billion pounds, due to reduced competition from Europe.


Broiler production projections for 2024 have been increased based on recent production and hatchery data, though export projections for broilers have been cut due to uncompetitive prices. Broiler prices for 2024 have been adjusted upwards due to strong domestic demand. Egg production forecasts for 2024 and 2025 have been reduced due to losses from Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza and slow flock recovery, leading to lower export projections and higher prices. Turkey production and export projections for 2024 have been slightly increased, with turkey prices also adjusted upwards based on recent data.

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