November Kansas Feedlot Sales Post Counter-Seasonal Decline

In a counter-seasonal move, Kansas feedlot sales of slaughter-ready cattle to beef packers in November declined from October, according to data gathered by the Kansas State University Extension Service and compiled and published by the Livestock Marketing Information Center in Denver.

However, other metrics of Kansas feedlot activity in November reflected seasonal trends.

The K-State Extension Service surveys a select group of feedlots monthly, gathering data on several factors, including sales, final weights and days on feed.  The data is then fed to the LMIC, which extrapolates and averages it to arrive at the activity of an “average” feedlot in the state before publishing it on its website.




The number of fed cattle the average Kansas feedlot sold to beef packers, or marketed, in November was 2,814 head, down 579, or 17.1%, from 3,393 in October and 884, or 23.9%, fewer than the 3,698 head sold in November 2019 and 1,208, or 30.0%, fewer than the average of 4,022 head sold in the 2014-2018 period.

Kansas feedlot marketings usually go up in November from October and accelerate the pace in December.  But November’s marketing pace nearly matched the low month of the year at 2,806 in April as pandemic lockdowns were disrupting food production and distribution chains.

January’s month-to-month marketings can be either up or down from December but trend toward being fewer in number.




The average final weight of fed steers sold to packers in November from Kansas feed yards rose two pounds, or 0.14%, from October, to 1,462 pounds, from 1,460, a month-to-month move that trends with the 2014-2018 average of being up 7.2 pounds, or 0.50%.

However, the exit weights of fed steers in November 2019 were up sharply from October.  That year, the average closeout weight of fed steers from Kansas feedlots in November was 1,461 pounds, up 39, or 2.74%, from 1,422 in October.




The number of days the average steer marketed to beef packers from Kansas feed yards in November rose seasonally and was the same as the 2019 average at 167.  November’s number was up from October’s 160 by 4.38%.

November’s 167-day span compares with the 2014-2018 average of 164.8 days, which was up 6.2 days, or 3.91%, from 158.6 in October.

On average, the number of days fed cattle from Kansas feedlots spend on feed declines for December marketings from November, but in 2019, December’s days-on-feed number rose month-to-month.

The average daily gain of November marketings from the average Kansas feedlot rose to 3.88 pounds from 3.86 in October.  It also was up from 3.78 in 2019 and the five-year average of 3.746.




Fed cattle trading was reported in the Plains this week at $108 to $111 per cwt on a live basis, down $1 to $2 from last week.  Dressed-basis trading was seen at $173 to $174 per cwt, down $2 to $3.

The USDA choice cutout Wednesday was up $1.86 per cwt at $211.00, while select was up $0.97 at $199.06.  The choice/select spread widened to $11.94 from $11.05 with 97 loads of fabricated product and 46 loads of trimmings and grinds sold into the spot market.

The USDA reported Wednesday that basis bids for corn from livestock feeding operations in the Southern Plains were up $0.02 to $0.03 at $1.21 to $1.27 a bushel over the Mar CBOT futures contract, which settled at $5.24 1/2 a bushel, up $0.07 1/4.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Tuesday was $136.05 per cwt, down $0.17.  This compares with Wednesday’s Jan contract settlement of $133.57 per cwt, up $0.35.