cattle industry

Forecasting Profitability in the Cattle Industry

Dan Beef, Cattle, Marketing

cattle industry

During the recent Cattle Industry Convention in Orlando, CattleFax noted the smallest beef cow inventory in the last 50 years, coupled with historically strong demand, led to those higher average fed cattle and calf prices in 2023. And as reduced cattle numbers and beef production continue over the next three years, they note leverage and profitability will continue to favor cattle producers.

But, despite record prices, a cattle herd expansion will most likely be delayed due to the lingering drought, high input costs, limited labor availability, high interest rates, and market uncertainty.

The prediction is for cow and bull slaughter to be around 6.5 million head this year, which is down about 800,000 head from 2023. While cattle inventories may stay elevated during the first half of the year, Cattlefax said they are expected to decline significantly through the second half of 2024.