Market News & Headlines >> Feedlot Inventory Tops Year Earlier

The month of November started with more cattle in U.S. feedlots than a year earlier for the first time in more than two years after October feedlot placements topped most expectations, according to the latest USDA monthly Cattle-on-Feed report.

The report, released last Friday afternoon, helped pressure live cattle and feeder cattle futures sharply lower on Monday, although USDA’s estimates were not significantly out of line with expectations.

USDA pegged the U.S. feedlot inventory at 100.4% of a year earlier versus trade estimates that averaged 99.8% in a range from 98.6%-100.8%. This was the first time year-over-year increase in the feedlot inventory since August, 2012.  In actual numbers of cattle, the rise in the feedlot inventory was modest at 48,000 head.

October feedlot placements came in at 99.1% of a year earlier against expectations that averaged 96% in a range from 90.4-100.5%. In actual numbers, October placements were 2.357 million head, 21,000 below a year earlier.

Placements of cattle weighing 800 lbs. or more were up 10.4% from a year earlier, marking the second straight month of large heavyweight placements, again indicating late movement of cattle off of summer pasture.

USDA put October feedlot marketings at 92.2% of a year earlier compared with expectations that averaged 93% in a range from 92%-96.5%. In actual numbers, October marketings were 1.685 million head, or 142,000 below a year earlier. The October marketings were the smallest on record for the month going back to 1996.