WASHINGTON – Nearby live cattle futures jumped 2 percent on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on news of record-low feedlot placements and high beef supplies in freezers for September.
For September, feedlot placements slipped 2 percent to 1.91 million head, the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the US Dept. of Agriculture said in its Cattle on Feed report. This represents the lowest placements in September since the series began in 1996. Slaughter of fed cattle climbed 5 percent to total 1.73 million head, while other disappearance dropped 26 percent to 42,000 head.
Meanwhile, total pounds of beef in freezers climbed 9 percent in September and up 4 percent from a year ago, NASS said in its Cold Storage report. Total pounds of beef were a record high for September, since the data was first recorded in 1932.
Net placements for September were 1.86 million head.
Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter totaled 10.3 million head on Oct. 1. The figure represents cattle and calves in feedlots with capacity of 1,000 had or more.
NASS said the inventory was slightly higher compared to Oct. 1, 2015. The inventory of steers and steer calves eased 2 percent to 6.83 million head, and accounted for 67 percent of the total inventory. The inventory of heifers and heifer calves advanced 4 percent and accounted for 3.44 million head.
Meanwhile, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 lbs. were 345,000 head, 600-699 lbs. were 300,000 head, 700-799 lbs. were 455,000 head and 800 lbs. and greater were 805,000 head.