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