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CME: Cattle Placed During September About the Same as a Year Ago

18 October 2018

US - Steiner Consulting Group, DLR Division, Inc. reports that USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is scheduled to release this Friday the monthly "Cattle on Feed" report of feedlots with a capacity of 1000 head or more.

The pre-report survey of analysts by Urner Barry (see table below), showed, on average, head placed into feedlots during September about the same as a year ago. For September, feedlots marketed fewer animals than a year ago (down about 3.5 per cent).

However, it is important to note that there was one less slaughter day than a year earlier. So, average daily marketings increased compared to 2017’s (up about 1.5 per cent). The average of the pre-report estimates is for the 1 October on-feed count to be nearly 11.5 million cattle, a year-over-year rise of 6.3 per cent.

Regarding head placed during September, the pre-report range is wide, with a low of down 3.3 per cent from a year ago to high of up 5.0 per cent. In terms of market outlook, a key feature of the report will be the weight breakdown in those placements, specifically the year-over-year changes in the lightweight category (under 600-pounds) versus animals weighing over 800- pounds.

NASS began monthly reports for the 1000 head and larger capacity feedlots in 1992. If head placed into feedlots comes in at the average of the pre-report estimates, September would be the largest since 2011’s (2.42 million head). 1 The October on-feed count this year is expected to be record-large for that date. (The prior October 1 record was set in 2006 at 11.39 million cattle.

Friday’s report will contain the quarterly breakdown of animals on-feed by class (i.e., steers and heifers). Analysts will be looking at those numbers year-over-year and also compared to two years ago. Quarterly data back to 2013 are provided In the table below.

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