Drought might define US beef in 2023

JUST as the Australian beef industry is recovering from drought and is rebuilding its cow herd, the opposite has occurred in the United States. The holiday season just ended brought the best possible gift to many US cow-calf producers – rain. But two years of extensive drought have had a big impact on US cattle numbers and this might linger in 2023 and delay any rebuilding of beef cow herds.

The silver lining to the drought’s impact is higher prices for all classes of cattle. Cash live cattle prices will see another large year-on-year increase in 2023. Prices are likely to average around US$156-157 per cwt live, versus an average of US$144.41 per cwt in 2022.

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