Cattle on Feed numbers squeezed further

USDA report shows 24th consecutive month decline for cattle on feed, higher placements total is slightly bearish

 

The five year low for cattle of feed continues this month as the illustrated in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Statistics Service (NASS) September “Cattle on Feed” report.

On Sept. 1, 2014, the USDA reported 9.8 million head in feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head.  This inventory is 1% below September 2013 (figure).

Placements in feedlots during last month were the lowest since 1996 at 1.72 million head, down 3% from last year.  In addition, placements of cattle weighing 600 lb. were 410,000, 600-600 lb. were 280,000, 700-799 lb. were 395,000 and over 800 lb. at 635,000.

Likewise, marketings of fed cattle during August totaled 1.69 million, 10% below 2013.

The placement total was reported higher than expected prior to the report which will be viewed slightly bearish among market traders.

Noteworthy, heifer slaughter in the four weeks of August was down 85, 151 head (11.6%) from last year. Also, steer slaughter decreased 29,343 head from the same period  a year ago.  This is a good indication of higher heifer retention.  However, overall the inventory of heifers in the U.S. will still clock in lower than previous years.  

Feedlot inventory

Million head

Category

2013

2014

2014 as % of 2013

Aug 1 Inventory

10.025

10.127

98

Aug marketings

1.871

1.692

90

Aug  placements

1.772

1.720

97

Sept  1 Inventory

9.876

9.799

99

Source: USDA NASS and Livestock Marketing Information Center

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