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Varying gross margins in livestock farming in March 2024


In March 2024, the monthly gross margins of the livestock industry showed diverse trends. For dairy farms, the monthly gross margin was 4% lower than in March of the previous year, yet it remained 18% above the long-term average. The gross margins for laying hens decreased by 25% compared to March 2023, despite an increase from the last quarter of 2023. Producers of broiler chickens experienced a rise of 15 to 20% compared to the first months of 2024, thanks to slightly decreasing feed prices. Fattening pigs saw a slight increase after a dip in January and February, with a monthly gross margin of 18,100 euros per farm. Sow farms remained strong, with a monthly gross margin nearly 11,000 euros higher than in March 2023.

Dairy Cattle
In March 2024, the monthly gross margin for standardised dairy farms reached 22,700 euros, representing a 4% decline from March of the previous year. Milk prices recovered to nearly 46 euros per 100 kg, which is 21% above the ten-year average. Despite higher allocated costs, which were 21% above average but 11% lower than in March 2023, the margin remained robust.

Laying hens
For laying hens, the monthly gross margin in March 2024 was approximately 60,000 euros per farm, a 25% decrease compared to March 2023 but an improvement from earlier months in 2024. Higher egg prices of 1.96 euros per kg and lower feed costs contributed to the resilience of the margin.

Broiler chickens
The monthly gross margin for broiler chickens amounted to nearly 27,000 euros per farm in March 2024, an increase of over 15% to 20% compared to the start of the year. This sector remains relatively stable with a margin over 10% higher than in March 2023, partly due to a decrease of about 23% in feed prices over the past year.

Fattening pigs
In March 2024, the monthly gross margin for fattening pigs improved to 18,100 euros per farm, a slight increase from the first two months of the year. However, this margin was still below the annual average of 2023. Both revenues and feed costs showed improvement compared to the beginning months of the year.

The sow farming sector remained strong in March 2024, with a monthly gross margin of 122,300 euros per farm. This was a significant increase compared to March 2023, thanks to continually high prices for piglets and reduced feed costs. The rolling annual gross margin reached an exceptionally high level.

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Jop Woltjer

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