U.S. cattle-on-feed down one percent, as expected

The United States Department of Agriculture has released its October 2019 edition of the U.S. Cattle on Feed report which showed cattle on feed down one percent in comparison to a year ago as of October 1.

According to Anne Wasko of the Gateway Livestock Exchange, “There were no real surprises in the numbers this month.” Wasko says, “October placements are expected to be higher after several smaller months.”

On Friday’s AgriTalk PM show,  Scott Varilek, of Kooima& Varilek Trading, described the USDA report as “sharply neutral.”

Friday’s December live cattle futures contract closed up $1.35 at $116.075.  Even though the December futures have moved $7.575 higher in the last 30 days, the five year average price for Dec cattle is $130.070 on Oct 25th.

A further breakdown of cattle on feed, placements, and marketings is below:

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totalled 11.3 million head on October 1, 2019. The inventory was 1 percent below October 1, 2018. The inventory included 6.87 million steers and steer calves, down 3 percent from the previous year. This group accounted for 61 percent of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 4.41 million head, up 2 percent from 2018.

Placements in feedlots during September totalled 2.09 million head, 2 percent above 2018. Net placements were 2.03 million head. During September, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 420,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 355,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 460,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 475,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 273,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 110,000 head.

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