Major cattle on feed categories up on year
The USDA says there were 11.717 million cattle and calves on feed in the U.S. on October 1st. That is an increase of 4% on the year and the highest October 1st inventory since the series of reports started, but there are some signs expansion could be slowing. The steer and steer calf inventory was 7.31 million head, 6% higher, while heifers and heifer calves were 4.41 million head, slightly lower than last year.
Placement into feedlots were up 6% at 2.227 million head, most of those cattle weighing between 700 and 1,000 pounds, even as corn and hay prices rise, and marketings during September were 1.846 million head, also up 6% on the year. For placements, by weight, the category weighing less than 600 pounds was 445,000 head, 600 to 699 pound placements were 360,000 head, and 700 to 799 pound placements were 500,000 head, while 800 to 899 pounders were 517,000 head, the 900 to 999 pound category was 300,000 head, and placements of cattle weighing more than 1,000 pounds were 105,000 head.
Texas had the highest number of cattle on feed, while Nebraska led the way on placements and monthly marketings.
The numbers look bearish for near-term cash and futures prices.