Helped by positive forage conditions and the likely reluctance of producers to sell yearlings as prices crumbled, cattle placed on feed in September weighing 800 pounds or more increased 7.8% year over year, representing 43% of placements. That continues a trend that began at the beginning of this year.
For further perspective, according to Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report, placements (1.93 million head) in September were 4% less year over year. Heading into the report, average analyst estimates suggested a decline of 6.1%.
Depending on how feedlots ultimately handle these heavyweight placements, they have the opportunity to keep kicking the proverbial can down the road, creating more of the over-heavy cattle that fueled the latest price decline.
Total on-feed inventory October 1 (10.2 million head) was 2% more than a year earlier. Average analyst estimates were for an increase of 1.8%.
Marketings in September (1.64 million head) were 2% fewer year over year. Average survey expectations were for a decline of 2.3%.
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