November Kansas Feedlot Closeouts Rise

Kansas feedlot sales to packers, called closeouts for the closing of the books on a pen of cattle as they leave the feed yard, turned higher in November, mirroring November 2017’s direction but going against the previous five-year trend.

The Kansas State University Extension Service polls a select group of feedlots each month for data on their closeouts, and the data is compiled, extrapolated to give an estimate of the states’ total activity for the month and published by the Livestock Marketing Information Center in Denver.

The data showed that Kansas feed yards in November marketed an average of 4,219 head of slaughter-ready cattle, up 579, or 15.9%, from October’s 3,640.  It also was 973 head, or 30.0%, above the 2012-2016 average of 3,246 head.  However, the sales rate was 307 head, or 6.78%, behind the 2017 figure of 4,526 head.

There is a strong seasonal tendency for December marketings from Kansas feedlots to go up in December to one of the largest marketing months of the year.  Last year, December marketings were up 2,207 head, or 48.8%, from November.




The final weight of the cattle sent to slaughter from Kansas feed yards in November was up to its highest of the year but tended to stay close to last year and the average as it has done since about September.

The average weight of fed steers going to slaughter in November from Kansas feedlots was 1,444 pounds, up 26, or 1.80%, from 1,418 in October and up 15, or 1.05%, from November 2017’s 1,429 pounds.  The November closeout weight also was up 24,2 pounds, or 1.70%, from the 2012-2016 average of 1,419.8 pounds.

The seasonal tendency for December slaughter weights is up, although last year, weather conditions had slaughter weights down for the month.  Further, the seasonal tendency for January slaughter weights is for further declines, leading into the annual low, usually in April.




The average daily gain for Kansas slaughter-ready cattle sent to the packers in November was down slightly from October and remained well below the November 2017 rate and the 2012-2016 average.

The average gain for the November closeouts was 3.59 pounds per day down 0.02 pound, or 0.55%, from 3.61 pounds in October.  The latest rate of gain also was 0.19 pound, or 5.03%, below the November 2017 rate of 3.78 pounds and 0.256 pound, or 6.66%, below the previous five-year average of 3.846 pounds.

The seasonal tendency is for the average daily gain of steers sold to packers in December to be up from November and the highest of the year, although in 2017, th4e November and December rates of gain were down from the October rate of gain, which was the highest of the year.

The seasonal trend also is for the daily rate of gain for cattle sold in January to begin a long slide into April.




Cash cattle traded last week at $122 to $123 per cwt on a live basis in the Plains, steady to down $1 from the previous week.  Dressed-basis trades were reported at $194 to $195, also steady to down $1.

The USDA choice cutout Monday was down $0.23 per cwt at $214.28, while select was up $0.55 at $208.21.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $6.07 from $6.85 with 74 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Friday, was $146.06 per cwt, up $0.46.  This compares with Monday’s Jan settlement of $146.00, up $1.10.