Farm Progress America, November 20, 2023

Mike Pearson takes a look at declining beef prices since September. The USDA released a report Friday with mixed data about the cattle industry.

November 20, 2023

Mike Pearson takes a look at the USDA's cattle on feed report released Nov. 17.

The report revealed there were 11.9 million cattle on feed at feedlots 1,000 or more head totaled. The inventory was 2 percent above November 1, 2022.

Placements in feedlots during October totaled 2.16 million head, 4 percent above 2022. Net placements were 2.11 million head. Marketings of fed cattle during October totaled 1.76 million head, 3 percent below 2022.

Overall, the trader's response to the report was mixed. The placement number of cattle coming to will mean more in February and March time frame and that could continue to put pressure on those contract months.

On the bullish side, the data showed 4.464 million heifers moved into feedlots, that's one percent more than 2022.

This is important because it shows a lack of herd rebuilding in the USA.

As 2024, comes into focus, there could be additional tightening of beef supplies as cattlemen begin to keep those heifers.

This report will be seen as neutral.

Beef reached a high of $8.31 a pound earlier this year. However, an economic slow down is likely to begin in next few months.

And the question will be whether customers can keep purchasing beef with shrinking supplies and higher prices.

The question in 2024 will be whether customers are able to pay the higher prices at the meat case.

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Mike Pearson, farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.

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