Kansas feedlot sales to packers in December rose seasonally but remained between those of December 2017 and the 2012-2016 average, according to data from Kansas State University and compiled by the Livestock Marketing Information Center in Denver.
The K-State Extension Service gathers closeout, or sales data from select Kansas feedlots for the previous month, and the LMIC extrapolates it to formulate a picture of what the whole state did during the month. The results then are published on the LMIC web site.
The data showed that Kansas feedlots marketed, or sold to packers and closed out the account for those cattle, an average of 5,427 head of steers in December, up 1,208, or 28.6%, from 4,219 head in November but down 1,306, or 19.4%, from 6,733 head in December 2017. It also was up 1,404, or 34.9%, from the previous five-year average of 4,023 head.
Based on the 2012-2016 average, the number of steers marketed by Kansas feedlots declines in January from December and continues to decline into February, which often is the annual low. A second marketing low occurs in September that rivals the February low.
In December 2017, Kansas feedlot steer marketings shot higher, only to drop sharply again in January.
SALE WEIGHTS NEAR AVERAGE
Sale weights of steers from Kansas feedlots in December tended to remain close to the 2012-2016 average but above 2017.
Closeout weights in December from Kansas feedlots averaged 1,434 pounds, down 10, or 0.69%, from 1,444 in November but up 19, or 1.34%, from 1,415 pounds a year earlier and up 2.4, or 0.17%, from the previous five-year average of 1,431.4 pounds.
Final weights of steers marketed from Kansas feedlots started 2018 below 2017 but crossed above a year earlier in April and remained there for the rest of the year, except for July when they averaged four pounds below.
Sale weights of steers has a strong seasonal tendency to drop in January from December. They continue to decline into an April bottom and then move generally higher through December.
STEERS LESS EFFICIENT
However, steers from Kansas feedlots were less efficient than they are normally, at least from June on.
The average number of pounds the December marketings put on per day they were in the feedlots was 3.61, up 0.02, or 0.56%, from 3.59 in November but down 0.13, or 3.48%, from 3.74 a year earlier and down 0.256, or 6.62%, from the 2012-2016 average of 3.866.
While the steers put on less weight per day during the second half of 2018, the trend was similar to the average, bottoming in April or May and then moving higher through December. The tendency for January closeouts is for them to gain less per day than the December cattle.
CATTLE, BEEF RECAP
No fed cattle sold on the Fed Cattle Video Exchange Wednesday. Sixty-three head traded last week at $123 per cwt on a live basis.
Cash cattle traded last week at $123.50 to $124 per cwt on a live basis, up $1 to $1.50 from the previous week, and at $198 to $199 on a dressed basis, up $1 to $2.
The USDA choice cutout Friday was down $1.13 per cwt at $214.26, while select was up $0.27 at $213.15. The choice/select spread narrowed to $1.11 from $2.51 with 52 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.
The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Thursday, was $141.86 per cwt, down $0.71. This compares with Friday’s Mar contract settlement of $142.52, down $0.02.