Meat & Livestock News

USDA’s WASDE Report Adjusts 2024 Meat Production Forecasts: Beef Up, Pork Down, and Poultry Mixed


  • USDA’s WASDE report increases beef production forecasts for 2024, with a slower slaughter pace early in the year but a rise expected later.
  • Pork production forecasts are reduced, while broiler production is up for the first quarter. Turkey’s production drops due to avian influenza impacts and low demand.
  • Beef imports are up due to strong demand and more supplies from Oceania, with pork exports also seeing an increase. Cattle, hog, and broiler prices are expected to rise, but turkey prices fall due to weak demand.

The USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report has updated its projections for 2024, indicating a notable adjustment in beef production forecasts.

The report outlines a year of two halves for the cattle industry, with a deceleration in slaughter rates expected initially, before transitioning to a heightened activity involving steers and heifers as the year progresses.

Additionally, carcass weights are projected to increase in the second half of the year, contributing to the overall rise in beef production.

In contrast, the outlook for pork production has been revised downwards, attributed to a slower-than-anticipated slaughter pace. On the poultry front, broiler production estimates have been adjusted upwards for the first quarter, signalling a robust start to the year.

However, turkey production is set to experience a downturn, a consequence of both the repercussions from avian influenza outbreaks and persistently weak demand.

The international trade landscape for meat also sees significant shifts in the WASDE report. Beef imports into the US are expected to climb, driven by strong domestic demand and augmented supplies originating from Oceania.

Meanwhile, pork exports are forecasted to experience growth, buoyed by the momentum of late 2023 export activities and continuous demand from key international markets.

Price projections within the report suggest an upward trajectory for cattle and hog prices throughout 2024, reflecting the broader market dynamics. Broiler prices are also anticipated to see an increase in the first half of the year. Conversely, turkey prices are projected to decline, weighed down by the dual pressures of weak demand and the ongoing impacts of avian influenza.

This comprehensive update from the WASDE report provides critical insights into the expected trends and shifts within the agricultural sector for 2024, highlighting the complex interplay of market forces, production dynamics, and international trade in shaping the outlook for meat production and prices.