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US feedlot herd continues decline from highs, despite rise in placements

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The US Department of Agriculture’s monthly on-feed report released Friday afternoon showed the number of cattle in US feedyards with a capacity of 1,000 or more head as of October 1 at 98.9% of a year ago, matching the average guess of analysts participating in the Urner Barry survey.

 

The previous month, September, was the first time a year-on-year decline had occurred since December 2016.

 

The placement number for September was 102% of a year ago, just 0.5 percentage point above the average guess.

 

The range of the guesses for placements was 4.9% under to 7.6% over a year ago.

 

Marketings for September were reported at 101.1% of a year ago, also matching the average guess. September had one more weekday but one less Saturday compared with 2018.

 

Herd number

USDA reported 11.278m head in the nation’s feedyards as of October 1, up 296,000 head or 2.7% from 10.982m the previous month.

 

That compares with 11.400m a year ago and a five-year average for that date of 10.534m head.

 

The average of analysts’ estimates for the on-feed figure was 11.275m head.

 

Marketings vs placements

Placements for September were 2.093m head, 4.2% over the five-year average of 2.008m.

 

USDA reported marketings, or animals sent to slaughter, at 1.738m head last month.

 

The marketing figure was 1.5% above the five-year average of 1.712m head.

 

The data were viewed as neutral for futures when trading resumes on Monday.

 

Urner Barry, like Agrimoney, is owned by AgriBriefing.

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