In addition to November’s US feedlot placements being expected to be larger than a year ago, Canada’s November placements were up from 2016, pointing to larger North American meat supplies in 2017.
The larger US placements were expected to show up in Friday’s US Cattle on Feed report as active slaughter and strong beef demand pulled cattle through the feeding and processing system, said David Anderson, agricultural economist for Texas A&M University in this week’s “In the Cattle Markets” by the Livestock Marketing Information Center.
Friday’s Cold Storage report also could show a decline in frozen beef supplies, although the seasonalities of demand for certain beef cuts may not affect the total frozen supplies appreciably, a market analyst said.
The Canadian Cattle on Feed report is a function of Canfax, a private market analytical group. As such, it is made available to its members and comes to the public through the LMIC’s graphs and spreadsheets.
Up until October, Canadian feedlot placements had run very close to last year and the 2011-2015 average. However, in October, monthly placements hinted at what was to come in November by climbing above both of those lines.
October placements of 323,806 were above last year’s 299,972 and the previous five-year average of 297,127. This was above the two comparative lines but not so far as to be alarming.
But in November, placements were listed at 321,259 head, 51,365, or 19.0%, above November 2016’s 269,894 and 52,007, or 19.3%, above the 2011-2015 average of 269,252.
There is a strong seasonality to December’s Canadian feedlot placements. The 2011-2015 average drops 178,362 head, or 66.2%, to 90,890 from November’s 269,252. Last year, December placements were very close (down 175,895, or 65.2%) to the average at 93,999, down from November’s 269,894.
December’s feedlot placements could remain above those of last year and the previous five-year average, but such an occurrence was not thought likely.
ON FEED NUMBER CLOSE TO AVERAGE
However, despite November placements being well above last year and the previous five-year average, Dec. 1 on-feed numbers were close to the average. They were above last year, but Canada’s on-feed numbers had been above the 2016 month since June 1.
The Dec. 1 on-feed number was 974,881 head, 104,312, or 12.0%, above 2016’s 870,569 but 12,219, or 1.24%, below the average of 987,100.
2017 MARKETINGS AGGRESSIVE
To keep the on-feed numbers close to last year and the 2011-2015 average, Canadian feedlot marketings have been up from a year ago as well, Canfax numbers show.
For instance, November 2017 marketings were listed at 131,886 head, up 4,744, or 3.73%, from 127,142 a year earlier. October marketings of 151,595 head were up 17,754, or 13.3%, from 133,841 in 2016.
CATTLE, BEEF RECAP
Only 75 head of fed cattle sold on the Livestock Exchange video auction last Wednesday at $116 per cwt.
The bulk of the cash trade took place on Friday from $118 to $120.50 per cwt on a live basis, mostly $119 to $120, up $2 to $3. Dressed-basis trade was mostly at $188 per cwt, steady to up $1.
The USDA’s choice cutout Tuesday was down $1.39 per cwt at $201.76, while select was off $0.69 at $184.32. The choice/select spread narrowed to $17.44 from $18.14 with 121.18 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.
The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Monday was $152.50 per cwt, down $0.12. This compares with Tuesday’s Jan settlement at $145.20 per cwt, down $2.45.