As of November 1, the number of cattle in U.S. feedyards with capacity of 1,000 head or more stood at 10.6 million head, which was slightly more than the total one year earlier, according to the USDA’s November Cattle on Feed report. That slight increase represents the first year-over-year increase in any month since August 2012.
Placements into feedyards during October, at 2.36 million, were down 1 percent from those during October 2013. Feedyards placed more cattle than they marketed during October, but the placement total was the second lowest of the month since this series of reports began in 1996. October marketings from feedyards were 8 percent below those of a year ago, at 1.69 million head. That is the lowest October marketings total since the series began.
Placement weights were fairly well distributed, with 53.5 percent of October placements entering feedyards weighing less than 700 pounds. The only weight class showing a year-to-year increase was for cattle weighing more than 800 pounds, which was up 9.5 percent from a year ago.
Earlier in the week, the USDA’s Livestock Slaughter report reflected those short marketing numbers, showing a 9 percent decline in October beef-cattle slaughter and a 6.5 percent drop in October beef production compared with a year ago. Heavier slaughter weights helped compensate for some of the reduction in slaughter numbers.
USDA’s 5 Area Weekly Accumulated Weighted Average Cattle Price for Friday, November 21was $169 per hundredweight for steers and $168 for heifers, down slightly from the previous week. The Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA) reported an average price of $172 per hundredweight for steers and heifers in the TCFA region, up $2 from a week ago.
The Choice beef cutout value finished the week at $255.22 per hundredweight with Select averaging $241.93
View the full Cattle on Feed report from USDA.