December Cattle on Feed Report Recap


USDA released their monthly Cattle on Feed report this afternoon (Dec 20). The report revealed that 10.725 million head of cattle were in feedlots with 1,000 head or larger capacity on December 1, 2013.  This was 5.5% lower than December 2012 and 7.0% lower than the average from 2008 to 2012. Pre-report analysts were expecting a drop of 4.6% on average, and the lowest guess called for a 5.6% decline, so the reported value is lower than the lowest guess.

Placements in November totaled 1.882 million head, down 3.1% versus last year and 4.0% lower than the 5-year average. The average of pre-report expectations looked for an increase of 0.9%, which carried a wide range and the reported number remained within that range. All but one weight group’s placements declined in the month with cattle under 600 pounds down 9.3%, 700 to 799 pounds down 3.5%, and those over 800 pounds down 6.2%. The only group to register an increase was the 600 to 699 pound group, up 13.3%. The large year-over-year change for this group could be a result of lower corn prices during the month of November.

November marketings totaled 1.681 million head, down 4.5% compared to last November and 1.3% versus the 5-year average. Analyst had expected a 5.4% decline on average but the reported value was just within the high-end of the range which was -4.3%.

So, placements were on the low end of expectations while marketings were on the high end leaving total number on feed much lower and outside the range. This leaves the report in rather bullish territory. Markets should respond favorably, all else equal, but keep in mind that the holiday shortened week could keep a lid on overall enthusiasm.

Summary of the report:

Pre-report Estimates:

(1,000 head)

vs. 2012

vs. 5-Yr Avg

Average

Range

Placed in Nov

1,882

-3.1%

-4.0%

0.9%

-5.0%

4.2%
Marketed in Nov

1,681

-4.5%

-1.3%

-5.4%

-6.3%

-4.3%
On Feed, Dec 1

10,725

-5.5%

-7.0%

-4.6%

-5.6%

-3.9%

Breakdown by weight and state:

AZ

CA

CO

ID

IA

KS

NE

< 600 lbs.

N/A

N/A

37.5%

N/A

N/A

0.0%

0.0%

600-699 lbs.

N/A

N/A

25.0%

N/A

N/A

0.0%

12.5%

700-799 lbs.

N/A

N/A

0.0%

N/A

N/A

-4.3%

0.0%

800+ lbs.

N/A

N/A

-12.5%

N/A

N/A

0.0%

-3.4%

TOTAL

7.1%

-1.5%

13.3%

5.0%

-0.8%

-1.3%

2.2%

OK

SD

TX

WA

Other [1]

U.S.

< 600 lbs.

N/A

N/A

-28.3%

N/A

-10.8%

-9.3%

600-699 lbs.

N/A

N/A

9.5%

N/A

26.3%

13.3%

700-799 lbs.

N/A

N/A

-6.3%

N/A

-16.3%

-3.5%

800+ lbs.

N/A

N/A

0.0%

N/A

-14.1%

-6.2%

TOTAL

-25.0%

10.5%

-12.9%

-22.8%

-11.3%

-3.1%

[1] Individual weight categories include states that are N/A
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