The USDA October Cattle on Feed Report came out late last week with one number in particular well above U.S. analysts estimates. The October 1st on-feed inventory was roughly a percent above estimates, re-establishing the impact the drought in key cattle producing parts of the U.S. is having on the regular flow of cattle. The placement numbers for under 600 weight cattle are significantly larger than other classes, lending creedance to the fact that ranchers have no other place to put those cattle. The difference between estimates and actuals isn’t really a shock to the market, but may cause a decline in deferred contracts.
The other big story is happening on the demand side, as we see the effects of the consolidation of the North American meat market made apparent. A shift in buying by a major retailer has contributed to widening the choice select spread significantly. In this episode of the Beef Market Update we discuss the U.S. Cattle on Feed Report, the feeder run and the effect one major player can have on the market.
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