Market News & Headlines >> USDA Cattle-on-Feed Report Neutral
Friday’s monthly USDA Cattle-on-Feed report confirmed trade expectations for feedlot placements to exceed a year earlier amid increased movement of feeder cattle off of summer pasture.
USDA pegged September feedlot placements at 101.0% of a year earlier in line with trade estimates that averaged 101.9% of a year earlier in a range from 95.5%-107.0%, while September feedlot marketings came in at 99.5% of a year earlier, against trade estimates averaging average 99.1% of a year earlier in a narrow range from 98.4%-100.0%. Monthly placements were above a year earlier for the first time since February.
USDA reported the Oct. 1 feedlot inventory was 99.5% of a year earlier in line with trade estimates that averaged 99.7% of a year earlier in a range from 98.5%-100.6%. In actual numbers, the Oct. 1 feedlot inventory was 10.580 million head, 52,000 below a year earlier and 22,000 below the average of trade expectations. The inventory was the smallest for Oct. 1 since 1998, confirming cattle supplies remain tight.
September feedlot placements were 2.007 million head, 19,000 more than a year earlier, but 19,000 below the average of trade estimates. Placements were still the largest for September in three years.
September feedlot marketings totaled 1.683 million head, 9,000 below a year earlier, but 13,000 above the average of trade estimates. Marketings were down from last year even though September held one more marketing day this year than last.
September placements of cattle in the heaviest weight category, 800 lbs. and up, were up about 8% from a year earlier, while combined placements in the other three weight categories were below a year earlier. This is evidence producers held cattle on summer pasture longer this year. It is somewhat bearish for Feb. futures, indicating larger supplies for this winter than previously indicated.