January Slaughter Lifts As Supplies Remain Tight Long Term

US - Higher cattle turnoff has prompted laughter increase in both steers and heifers although the inventory stands at 6.2 per cent below figures from a year ago, reports Meat and Livestock Australia.
calendar icon 27 February 2013
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Meat & Livestock Australia

Reflecting higher cattle turnoff during January, US cattle slaughter for the month increased 4 per cent year-on-year, to 2.8 million head.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Cattle Slaughter Report, steer and heifer turn-off increased 7 per cent and 4 per cent year-on-year, respectively, while beef cow slaughter continued to decline, down 9 per cent on year ago levels.

However, feeder cattle placements into US feedlots during January increased for the first time in eight months - up 1.6 per cent year-on-year to 1.9 million head, as reported the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The increased feeder cattle placement was largely assisted by higher number of cattle outside of feedlots reported as at 1 January 2013 (despite a 3 per cent decline in calf crop in 2012).Driving placements for the month was a 12 per cent rise in inputs of cattle weighing 800lbs (363kg) and above, reflective of feedlot operators’ uptake of heavier cattle amid the high grain prices.

Reduced demand from feedlot operators, particularly for light feeder cattle following the feed grain price spike in 2012, and easing processors’ intake since January has placed downward pressure on both finished and feeder cattle prices.

The CME feeder and choice steer price indicators reached a record high of 150.83US¢/lb lwt and 128.05US¢/lb lwt, respectively, in early January, before easing to 141.02US¢/lb lwt and 122.89US¢/lb lwt during the week ending 21 February.

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