January 1 US cattle on feed projected 7.7% above year-ago level


Analysts participating in the cattle-on-feed survey for Urner Barry, Agrimoney’s sister publication, predicted on average 7.7% more animals in the nation’s feedyards as of January 1, compared with a year earlier.

The monthly US on-feed report is scheduled for release on Friday, January 26 at 2pm Chicago time (8pm UK time), although some other USDA reports are being delayed because of the temporary US government sutdown.

The monthly cold storage and cattle-on-feed reports are issued by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and its website currently states: “This USDA website will not be updated during a lapse in federal funding.

“Content on this website will not be current or maintained until funding issues have been resolved.”

Placements, marketings down?

Placements of young cattle into the feedyards in December were predicted to be 3.1% less than a year ago.

The range of guesses for placements was from 6.7% under to 4% over the year-ago figure.

Marketings, or those shipped out for slaughter during the month, were predicted on average at 1.4% less than a year ago. December had one less weekday than it did a year ago, contributing to the year-on-year decrease in marketings.

Marketings have been running above year-ago levels since August of 2016.

Feedlot population

The average of analysts’ projections for placements last month puts the number at 1.739m head, 7.1% above the five-year average. The placement number in December last year was 1.795m head.

The average guess for marketings projects a figure of 1.762m head, 3.3% above the five-year average.

The January 1 on-feed number is predicted on average to be 11.422m head, down about 0.8% from the previous month’s figure of 11.516m.

The five-year average for the on-feed number is 10.714m head.


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