ANALYSIS - Allendale, Inc., in their estimates for the Cattle on Feed and Cold Storage, both due to be released on Friday, 22 March at 2 pm Central Time, expects February placements to be 13.4 per cent lower than last year, writes Sarah Mikesell, 5m senior editor.
Feedlot margins remain negative. Cash cattle prices averaged about the same in February as in January ($125). Concern over exports to Russia and China deterred placements. Cattle placed in February will be marketed from July through October.
Allendale anticipates a marketing total 7.5 per cent lower than February of 2012. This is made after a 4.8 per cent decrease due to a calendar adjustment, one less weekday in 2013 vs. 2012, for this month.
Total Cattle on Feed as of March 1 will be 7.1 per cent lower than last year. This is smaller than the February 1 survey which showed 6.2 per cent fewer cattle. Months of lower placements, and tightening feedlot numbers, are now translating into lower slaughter levels.
Allendale projects a 640 million lb. total pork stock level for the end of February. The five year average is 590 million lbs. for the end of February. Allendale's estimate represents an increase of 34 million lbs. from the previous month. The five year average month to month change for February is for a 30 million lb. decrease.
Beef stocks, at 489 million lbs., are above the five year average of 441. This month's number represents a 5 million lb. increase from the previous month. The five-year average change is for a 16 million lb. decrease.
**Pork Belly stocks are estimated - in million pounds while Cattle on Feed is estimated as a percentage compared to last year.
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