US - Allendale Inc. projects December cattle placements to be 2.1 per cent higher than last year, according to Rich Nelson, Allendale chief analyst.
Cattle feeders have been encouraged by the return to profitability in the fourth quarter driven by lower feed costs. Corn averaged $4.34 in Western Kansas in December ($4.31 ½ in November).
December placements are marketed from May through September. We see extremely small cattle slaughter in February and March due to low May through September 2013 placements. There will be adequate numbers available for late spring and summer.
Allendale anticipates a Marketing total 0.8 per cent higher than December of 2012. The calendar day adjustment artificially added 4% to the actual number.
Total Cattle on Feed as of January 1 will be 5.3 per cent smaller than last year. This would be smaller than the December 1 survey which showed 5.5 per cent fewer cattle.
Cold Storage Estimates
Allendale Inc. projects a 551 million lb. total pork stock level for the end of December.
The five year average is 508 million lbs. for the end of December. Allendale's estimate represents an increase of 4 million lb. from the previous month.
The five year average month to month change for December is a 2 million lb. decrease. Beef stocks, at 447 million lbs., are above the five year average of 458. This month's number represents a 2 million lb. increase from the previous month. The five year average change is an 11 million lb. increase.
**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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