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Cattle in feedlot DarcyMaulsby/iStock/Thinkstock

Feedlot inventory rises only 1% in October

Placements in feedlots during October rise 10% above 2018, less than analysts expected.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest “Cattle on Feed” report showed that feedlot inventories in feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 head or more totaled 11.8 million head on Nov. 1, a 1% increase from Nov. 1, 2018, and in line with analysts' expectations.

USDA NASScattle on feed 11.19.png

According to Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension livestock marketing specialist, the 12-month moving average for feedlot inventories peaked in August, but there is a chance that strong placements in the next few months could push to a higher average total.  This means feedlot inventories are close but may not yet be quite at a cyclical peak, he added.

Placements in feedlots during October totaled 2.48 million head, 10% above 2018. Analysts had expected an 11% rise. Net placements were 2.42 million head. During October, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 lb. were 600,000 head, 600-699 lb. were 540,000 head, 700-799 lb. were 517,000 head, 800-899 lb. were 475,000 head, 900-999 lb. were 230,000 head and 1,000 lb. and up were 115,000 head.

Peel pointed out that regional contrasts were apparent in the latest "Cattle on Feed" report. October placements in Texas were 14% higher year over year, leading to a November on-feed total that was 7% higher than last year. Colorado placements were 23% higher, supporting a feedlot inventory that was 5% above last year.  Kansas placements were also higher, up 14% from October and a 3% higher November feedlot inventory than last year. A complete story was found in Nebraska, where November placements were only 3% higher than a year ago. Nebraska’s Nov. 1 feedlot total was 5% below last year. Iowa’s October placements were up 7% year over year, with a Nov. 1 on-feed total 6% below the same period last year.

Marketings of fed cattle during October totaled 1.88 million head, 1% below 2018 and in line with pre-report estimates.

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