Australian Beef Seasonal Outlook 2023: A Return to ‘Normal’ Is a Good Time To Plan for the Future

With lower cattle prices and costs remaining high, 2023 is a good time for producers to recheck their budgets, recalibrate, and set their businesses up for the future. The record cattle prices of early 2022 could not last forever. Now, after a significant contraction in prices, it is a good time to consolidate and take stock of operations. We are projecting prices will be more ‘normal’ in 2023, rather than continuing the dramatic fluctuations seen over the last three years. This greater stability, along with the expectation that farm profits will still be strong, provides an ideal time to plan and prepare for the future. With a number of wetter seasons behind us, there is increased likelihood of a dry season ahead. Now is the best time to prepare for future, less favourable years.

Cattle numbers are expected to grow as progeny from successive years of herd rebuilding start to flow onto the market. With increasing numbers, producer demand for livestock will be weaker. Slower economic conditions may yet have a bigger impact on beef demand through the year as prices are reduced to encourage volume throughput. As a result, cattle prices are not expected to see much upside or downside from early-April’s levels. However, while prices are not as good as in 2022, they do remain historically high.