The USDA Outlook Board has come out with their price and production estimates for the livestock markets in 2014. Gerry Bange the Chairman of the Board says beef production should rebound as producers start to rebuild inventory after the drought driven liquidation of the past three years. The board is calling for beef production to hit 24.4 billion pounds which is an increase from earlier estimates but still a decline from last year. With supplies still relatively tight, the board is calling for an average steer to price at $132.50 per hundred, keeping consumer retail prices relatively high. As for pork production, that is expected to jump another 3%, resulting in a projected 5% decline in producer prices, at just over $60.00 per hundredweight.
The news for dairy is an interesting one as Bange says the board does expect both an increase in milk production and price. Bange says the board sees both a rise in cow numbers and production per cow, resulting in a nearly 2% jump in milk production. However, the board also sees strong demand, especially on the export markets, enough to off set the production increase as the board is predicting the 2014 all milk price at $20.10 per hundredweight.
As for you the consumer, after a break at the check-out counter (with the exception of beef prices) grocery store inflation is expected to be back around 2.4% in 2014 after only rising by .6% this year