Kansas Feedlots Cut September Marketings

Kansas feedlots cut sales of slaughter-ready cattle to packers in September, pulling sales very near last year and the 2013-2017 average.

The data comes from a Kansas State University survey of selected feedlots around the state that was compiled and extrapolated by the Livestock Marketing Information Center in Denver before being published on their website.




On average, Kansas feedlots in September marketed 3,527 head of fed cattle to beef packers for slaughter and processing, the data showed.  This was down 1,973 head, or 35.9%, from August’s rate of 5,500 head and was 253, or 6.69%, below the September-2018 rate of 3,780.  However is was only 23 head, or 0.65%, below the previous five-year average rate of 3,551 head.

The move back toward average rates of marketings in September ends a string of four straight months in which sales of finished cattle to packers exceeded the 2013-2017 average.  The monthly sales pace also exceeded the year-earlier rate in May and August.  The June and July sales paces fell below the 2018 rate, but the 2018 pace spiked well above average.

If the pace of monthly fed cattle marketings from Kansas feedlots continues to follow the average from September forward, sales will have moved higher in October to around 3,834 head, followed by a decline to near 3,590 in November and a December spike to about 4,706.




It looks like Kansas feedlots were willing sellers in September, too, as the final weights of those sold dropped from August and fell significantly below the five-year average and last year.

The data showed that the average exit weight of cattle leaving the feedlots for the packing plant in September was 1,390 pounds, down 17, or 11.6%, from 1,407 in August; down 33, or 2.32%, from 1,423 in September a year ago, and down 26, or 1.84%, from the 2013-2017 average of 1,416.

Prior to September, March was the only month this year in which Kansas feedlot closeout weights were significantly above or below the five-year average.  If weights get back to following the seasonal trend, they will climb again in October, dip slightly in November and reach an annual high in December.




For whatever reason, the cattle coming out of Kansas feedlots this year have not been as efficient at turning feed into weight as they were in the last six years.  The data showed that fed steers spent more time munching feedlot rations than those that were marketed in September last year and over the previous five years.

Steers marketed in September averaged 174 days on feed, compared with 164 a year earlier and the previous five-year average of 159.6.

September marketings also averaged 3.61 pounds of gain a day, compared with 3.61 a year earlier and the 2013-2017 average of 3.706 pounds.




Cash cattle trading for the week began on Thursday with sales in Nebraska’s dressed market at $181 to $182 per cwt, up $1 to $2 from last week.  Live-basis trading was not established but took place last week at mostly $112 up to $114 per cwt, up about $3.

The USDA choice cutout Thursday was up $1.15 per cwt at $238.29, while select was up $1.49 at $213.02.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $25.27 from $25.61 with 91 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Wednesday was $146.09 per cwt, down $0.17 from the previous day.  This compares with Thursday’s Nov contract settlement of $146.77, down $0.02.