Reduced cattle supplies are expected to remain the trend in the December Cattle on Feed report released by USDA on Friday.

Cattle on Feed data expected to remain under 2012 levelsEarly predictions from Allendale, Inc. forecast the December 1 inventory to be above the previous month’s total, but 4.3% smaller than December 1, 2012. The November report showed a 6% decrease from the previous year with the number of cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the U.S. totaling 10.607 million head on Nov. 1.

A collection of analyst predictions from the CME Group forecasts a 4.6% decrease in the December 1 On Feed report with the range of inventories from 10.713 to 10.905 million head. If the prediction is accurate, December’s report would show a 16-month decline in feedlot inventories on a year-to-year basis.

Allendale, Inc. is also forecasting a lower marketing total, down 4.3% from the previous year, or 3.9% lower accounting for the calendar day adjustment. Placements on December 1 are anticipated to move 3.8% higher than a year earlier. A release from Allendale attributes the increase in placements to the winding down of grass season and feeders attempting to capitalize on lower grain prices. The CME expectations show a 0.4% increase in placements and a 5.4% decrease in marketings.

The lower inventories signal decreased beef production ahead. In November, the Livestock Marketing Information Center projected a 5.2% decline in beef production in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to the same quarter in 2012, moving the yearly total 1.5% lower for the year.

Cattle on Feed data expected to remain under 2012 levels