Going in to Friday’s USDA cattle feedlot activity report, industry analysts expected a 1% decline in placements during August. However, what they got was a placement number of 2.1 million head which was up 2% from a year ago.
USDA Livestock Analyst, Shayle Shagam, says looking at the geography, placements were down in places in Oklahoma where forage as been available.
“But it tends to be up in those Northern tier states where they’ve been experiencing drought.”
August marketings affect cattle were down, some leaving feedlots on September first with an 11.2 million head inventory, but Shagum said, “Although it is down from last year’s record, it still remains the second highest September first number since the series began in 1996.”
USDA’s benchmark steer price right now is running about $103 CTW. It was $105 this time a year ago.
“So this does support some of that tightening that we’ve seen occurring since last year.”
USDA has been forecasting a small decline in herd size and in beef production next year.
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