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CME: More Cattle Placed into US Feedlots During October

20 November 2018

US - USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will publish the monthly "Cattle on Feed" report tomorrow (21 November), reports Steiner Consulting Group, DLR Division, Inc.

That report is for US feedlots with 1,000 or more capacity and provides the inventory count as of 1 November. Animals placed into feedlots, and on head marketed, will be for October.

More animals are placed into US feedlots during October than any other month. During October, especially early in the month, the last of the summer-grazed yearling steers (born in 2017) would typically go on-feed, along with heifers that were open (unbred) as summer grazing wound down.

In several regions of the nation, spring-born calves begin to be weaned during October. Some of those weaned calves go directly into feedlots.

On average, analysts surveyed by Urner Barry expect the number of animals placed into feedlots during October to be slightly above a year ago (up 1.0 per cent). The range on placements is wide, (94.0 per cent to 104.3 per cent of 2017’s).

There has been discussion among market observers and participants on what the impacts of weather were on placements during October. If a 1.0 per cent year-overyear increase in placements is realized, October’s would be the largest since 2007’s.

Cattle marketed by feedlots during October should be above a year ago (up 4.2 per cent year-over-year). One more slaughter day occurred in October of this year versus a year ago. Daily average marketings were similar to a year ago (declined 0.3 per cent from last year’s level).

Analysts expect the number of cattle on-feed as of November to be higher than a year ago. The average is for an increase of 4.3 per cent with a rather wide range (see table). The average increase would put the inventory at the highest level for 1 November since 2011.

The CanFax website reported their survey of cattle on feed in Alberta and Saskatchewan on Friday (site is:

As of 1 November, their count showed that animals on-feed continued to be "... well above a year ago. This is the sixth consecutive month of on feed inventories being higher than last year." The inventory was 16 per cent above a year ago and the largest as of 1 November since 2008.

Below is a summary of various weekly production and cash prices compiled by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (Market News Division) (see bottom of the page). Note that the data are preliminary. Week-over-week and year-over-year, cattle and hog prices declined.

The Choice beef (negotiated) cutout value slipped for the week but remained above 2017’s. Declines, both for the week and compared to a year ago, occurred in the pork cutout value. At $69.48 per cwt., the pork cutout value was the lowest since the week ending September 9th of this year.

Daily Livestock Report - Copyright © 2008 CME. All rights reserved.

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