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USA 02.02.2024

USDA Reports Slight Dip in Price Indices for December

Source: The DairyNews
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In the latest update from the USDA, December brought a fractional decrease in both the indices of prices received and paid by farmers.
USDA Reports Slight Dip in Price Indices for December
The index of prices received experienced a 0.4% decline compared to November, attributed to setbacks in cattle, hogs, milk, and turkeys, offsetting gains in corn, broilers, eggs, and onions.

Diving into the specifics, the USDA's dairy index for December 2023 recorded a 5.1% drop from November and a substantial 16% decrease from December 2022. The all milk price settled at $20.60 per hundredweight, marking a $1.10 decrease from the previous month and a $3.90 drop from the same period the previous year.

On the other side of the spectrum, the index of prices paid saw a 0.5% decline. This was driven by reduced costs for feeder cattle, complete feeds, diesel, and gasoline, which counterbalanced increases for feeder pigs, potash & phosphate, nitrogen, and LP gas.

Reflecting on the broader picture, 2023 concluded with an 18% year-to-year decrease in prices received from 2022, coupled with a 0.6% decline in prices paid. These figures underscore the challenges faced by farmers and ranchers throughout the year.
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Aaron Smith
Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California
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February 2024
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