Feedlot Numbers Five Percent Smaller Than at Start of 2013Sat, 25 Jan 2014 12:32:36 CST
The first USDA Cattle on Feed Report of 2014 shows a five percent smaller set of cattle in US Feedlots as of January first of this year versus January 1, 2013. While that shows the tightness of the US beef supply, it may still not be enough of a reduction to satisfy the trade, since analysts were looking for a six percent cut in feedlot numbers on Friday.
Placements were also higher than what the pre report guesses were indicating- with the USDA number one percent larger than a year ago (December 2013 versus December 2012) while the analysts had an average guess of two percent less than a year ago.
According to the official text of the Friday report: Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 10.6 million head on January 1, 2014. The inventory was 5 percent below January 1, 2013. The inventory included 6.78 million steers and steer calves, down 4 percent from the previous year. This group accounted for 64 percent of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 3.73 million head, down 8 percent from 2013.
Placements in feedlots during December totaled 1.68 million, 1 percent above 2012. Net placements were 1.60 million head. During December, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 485,000, 600-699 pounds were 420,000, 700-799 pounds were 391,000, and 800 pounds and greater were 385,000.
Marketings of fed cattle during December totaled 1.74 million, 1 percent below 2012. Click here for the complete USDA Cattle on Feed report.
Tom Leffler of Leffler Commodities says depsite the report showing slightly larger placements and a slightly higher on feed number than the trade had expected- he sees little bearish impact from the report whent he markets open on Monday. Instead, he points to the overall tightness of the feedlot supply as helping justify the early 2014 runup in both wholesale boxed beef prices as well as the sharply higher cash cattle prices for feedlot cattle.
Leffler talked after the report with Dave Lanning of RON- and his comments are featured in today's Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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