US - Allendale Inc has released their estimates for Cattle on Feed, released Friday, November 16, and Cold Storage, released November 21.
October Placements are expected to be 8.9% lower than last year. At this time of year, sale barns are full of freshly weaned calves that go either to the feedlot or to winter wheat pastures and overwintering programs. Neither of those options look good right now.
Even with a $4 rise in cash cattle prices in October, back month futures were still implying a loss for these new calves.
Feedlots would rather hold on to market ready numbers than pick up new calves and feeders. On the other hand, quality wheat pasture and cheap forage materials are still hard to find. Cattle placed in October will be marketed from March through August.
Allendale anticipates a Marketing total 3.1% higher than October of 2011. This was due to a calendar adjustment higher for this month as there were 22 weekdays and 4 Saturdays. 2011 September saw 20 weekdays and 5 Saturday's. The unadjusted number would imply marketing fell short of available cattle numbers.
Total Cattle on Feed as of November 1 will be 4.9% lower than last year. This is down from the October 1 survey which found 2.6% fewer cattle. Feedlot supplies are tightening due to low placements, not from active marketings.
Cold Storage Estimates
Allendale projects a 640 million lb. total pork stock level for the end of October. The five year average is 502 million lbs. for the end of October. Our estimate represents an increase of 9 million lbs. from the previous month. The five year average month to month change for October is an 11 million lb. increase.
Beef stocks, at 411 million lbs., are below the five year average of 444. This month's number represents a 14 million lb. drawdown from the previous month. The five year average change is for a 5 million lb. increase.
**Pork Belly stocks are estimated - in million pounds while Cattle on Feed is estimated as a percentage compared to last year.
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