Market News & Headlines >> Smaller-than-Expected Feedlot Inventory Still Record Large

Friday’s monthly USDA Cattle-on-Feed report was friendly for the cattle market as it pegged both September feedlot placements and the Oct. 1 feedlot inventory below trade expectations, but the feedlot inventory was still record large for the date, indicating ample supplies of cattle on feed. 

USDA pegged the Oct. 1 U.S. feedlot inventory at 105.4% of a year earlier compared with trade estimates that averaged 106.4% in a range from 105.6%-107.4% In actual numbers, the feedlot inventory totaled 11.400 million head, up 587,000 head from a year earlier and was the largest on record for Oct. 1 in USDA data going back to 1996. 

September feedlot placements were estimated by USDA at 95.4% of a year earlier compared with trade estimates that averaged 100.1% in a range from 96.0%-105.0%. In actual numbers, September placements were down 99,000 head from a year earlier. 

The lower September feedlot placements were offset by lower monthly feedlot marketings. USDA pegged September marketings at 96.4% of a year earlier, versus trade estimates that averaged 97.0% in a range from 95.9%-99.3%. In actual numbers, September feedlot marketings totaled 1.819 million head, down 64,000 head from a year earlier.