USDA’s monthly cattle on feed numbers show the major categories below the average pre-report estimates.
As of October 1, the total number of cattle on feed in feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head was 10.989 million head, a decrease of 3% when analysts were expecting a 2.2% decline.
Placements during September were 2.004 million head, 19% lower than last year and the lowest for the month since the series of reports started in 1996. On average, the trade was anticipating a 15% drop.
By weight, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 515,000 head, 600 to 699 pounders were 355,000, the 700 to 799 pound category was 444,000 head, and 800 pound and heavier placements were 690,000 head.
Marketings were pegged at 1.598 million head, 12% below a year ago, and the second lowest for the month since the start of the series. The average pre-report estimate was for a 10.2% decline.
Other disappearances were 64,000 head, down 14% on the year.
Overall, with the smaller than expected numbers, Allendale’s David Kohli calls the report bullish for futures trade.