August sales of fed cattle to beef packers from Kansas feedlots rose again to nudge out year-earlier sales for this year’s monthly high.
The data came from a monthly survey of select Kansas feedlots by the Kansas State University Extension Department. The data was then compiled and extrapolated by the Livestock Marketing Information Center in Denver to get data that applies to the average Kansas feedlot, and the data is then published by the LMIC.
FEEDLOT MARKETINGS UP
Kansas feedlot sales in August averaged 5,539 head, up 39, or 0.71%, from 5,500 in the 2019 month and up 941, or 20.5%, from the 2014-2018 average for August of 4,598, the LMIC said.
September sales to packing plants, or marketings, have a strong seasonal tendency to decline sharply. Actually, the 2014-2018 average has Kansas feedlot marketings declining from a June peak into an October low, but the seasonal low could happen in September or October. Last year, the fall low in marketings took place in October.
By November, Kansas feedlot marketings are picking up, and the December marketings rate often is the highest of the year. Last year, the marketings peak took place in August at 4,650 head.
CLOSEOUT WEIGHTS HOLD HIGHER
The average exit weight of fed steers headed for the packing plant remains well above last year and the previous five-year average, the LMIC said. At no point this year have the weights of steers leaving Kansas feedlots even approached last year or the 2014-2018 average.
The average weight of fed steers leaving Kansas feedlots in August was 1,468 pounds. This was up 61 pounds, or 4.34%, from last year’s 1,407 pounds and up 60.6, or 4.31%, from the previous five-year average of 1,407.4 pounds.
The average closeout weight of fed steers from Kansas feedlots has a strong tendency to keep rising to a November high. Last year, December’s market weight of fed steers edged the November rate slightly.
After the late-fall peak in Kansas feedlot marketing weights, the weights trend lower into an April low.
DAYS ON FEED ABOVE 2019, AVERAGE
For the fed steers going to packing plants in August, the number of days they spent in Kansas feedlots declined from July, continuing a trend from the May peak, the LMIC said. However, the number of days they spent on feed remained above last year and the 2014-2018 average.
August marketings of fed steers from Kansas feedlots spent an average of 183 days on feed, down 10, or 5.18%, from July’s 193 days but up six, or 3.39%, from the August 2019 rate of 177 days and up 20, or 12.3%, from the previous five-year average of 163 days.
The number of days fed steers are on feed in Kansas feedlots trends lower into an October low. This is followed by a bump in November and a decline to a January low.
CATTLE, BEEF RECAP
Fed cattle trading this week was seen at $107 to $108.50 per cwt on a live basis, steady to up $1.50 from last week. Dressed-basis trading was reported last week at $167 to $168 per cwt, up $3 to $4.
The USDA choice cutout Thursday was down $0.88 per cwt at $216.00, while select was off $2.48 at $203.10. The choice/select spread widened to $12.90 from $11.30 with 126 loads of fabricated product and 36 loads of trimmings and grinds sold into the spot market.
There were no delivery notices against the Oct live cattle futures market Thursday.
The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Wednesday was $142.60 per cwt, down $0.11. This compares with Thursday’s Oct contract settlement of $138.05 per cwt, down $0.45.