Market News & Headlines >> September Feedlot Placements Below Expectations

Friday afternoon’s USDA monthly Cattle-on-Feed report looked clearly bullish for cattle prices, pegging the Oct.1 feedlot placement near the low end of trade expectations on record low September feedlot placements. 

The Oct. 1 feedlot inventory came in at 100.4% of a year earlier compared with trade estimates averaging 101.3% in a range from 100.2%-102.1%. In actual numbers, the supply of cattle on feed as of Oct. 1 was 10.266 million head, up a modest 38,000 from 10.228 million a year earlier. 

USDA pegged September feedlot placements at 98.2% of a year earlier compared with trade estimates of placements that averaged 103.6% of a year earlier in a range from 97.4%-108.2%. In actual numbers, September placements totaled1.905 million head, down from 1.941 million a year earlier and were the smallest for the month in the current USDA data series going back to 1996. 

September feedlot marketings were reported by USDA at 105.5% of a year earlier compared with trade estimated that averaged 106.2% in a range from 103.2%-108.8% and were the largest for the month in five years. In actual numbers, September marketings were 1.732 million head, up 90,000 from 1.642 million a year earlier. 

September placements of cattle weighing more than 800 lbs. were down 3% from a year earlier, the first time in quite a while that heavyweight placements have been down year-over-year. Placements of lightweight cattle weighing less than 600 pounds were down 14.8, while placements in the 600-699 lb. and 700-799 lb. weight classes were up 3.4% and 9.4% respectively.