Market News & Headlines >> Cattle Futures Tank Following USDA Report

Live cattle futures nosedived to nearly four-month lows on Monday in response to Friday’s USDA Cattle-on-Feed report, which unexpectedly pegged the Oct. 1 feedlot inventory above a year earlier on larger-than-expected September feedlot placements and very low September feedlot marketings.

USDA pegged the Oct. 1 U.S. feedlot inventory at 100.6% compared with pre-report trade estimates that averaged 99.7% of a year earlier in a range from 99.0%-100.3% of a year earlier, according to a Reuters News Service survey of 11 analysts.  At 11.580 million head, the Oct. 1 inventory was 486,000 head larger than a month earlier and 71,000 head larger than a year earlier. The inventory was the largest for the month in three years.

September feedlot placements were pegged by USDA at 106.1% of a year earlier, above trade estimates that averaged 100.8% of a year earlier in a range from 95.9%-103.4%.  Placements totaled 2.206 million head, up 203,000 head from a month earlier and 126,000 head above a year earlier. Placements were the largest for September in three years.

USDA put Oct. 1 feedlot marketings at 89.4% of a year earlier in line with trade estimates that averaged 90.3% of a year earlier in a range from 88.0%-92.0%.  Feedlot marketings totaled 1.663 million head, 201,000 head less than a month earlier and 197,000 less than a year earlier. Marketings were the lowest for September in eight years.