Kansas Feedlot Closeouts Up; Follow Seasonal Trend

Kansas feedlot closeouts in July declined from what may be the second-largest such monthly move of the year in June and followed the seasonal trend, although at a higher level.

The information came from monthly survey of selected Kansas feedlots by the Kansas State University Extension Service.  The data then was compiled by the Livestock Marketing Information Service, extrapolating the information to give a picture of the entire state.

On average, Kansas feedlots sold 4,892 head of slaughter-ready cattle to packers for slaughter and processing into beef and other products, the survey showed.  This was down 152, or 3.01%, from June’s 5,044 head and 855, or 14.9%, below last year’s 5,747 head.  However, it was 548, or 12.6%, above the 2013-2017 average of 4,344 head.

Monthly feedlot closeouts had a sharp peak last year in June, skewing the results for July and August, even though they dropped almost as sharply as the June jump.

This year, apart from a significant decline in closeouts in March because of severe weather effects, monthly closeouts have tended to remain about 12% to 15% more than the five-year average.  If the trend keeps up, Kansas feedlot closeouts will decline to a seasonal low in September, bounce a bit in October and test the September low in November before shooting to an annual high in December.




Final sales weights of fed steers in Kansas in July were right on average, following the seasonal trend higher and aiming for the annual high in December.

The average weight of fed steers from the state’s feedlots in July was 1,397 pounds, up 30, or 2.19%, from 1,367 in June and 31, or 2.27%, more than the 1,366 pounds of a year ago.  The 2013-2017 average was 1,398 pounds.

On average, the annual monthly low in closeout weights from Kansas feedlots occurs in April, followed by a similarly low weight in May.  This year, the low came in March as harsh wintry weather hurt cattle growth and weights.  The cattle seem to be back on track, though.




However, with one exception, the cattle going to slaughter this year are less efficient than last year and the previous five-year average.  The monthly closeouts show that cattle spent more time on feed getting to acceptable market weight and finish.

Cattle going to slaughter in July spent an average of 182 days on feed, down nine, or 4.71%, from June’s 191 but 13, or 7.69%, above last year’s 169 and 19.8, or 12.2%, above the 2013-2017 average of 162.2.

This means the average daily gain of the cattle going to slaughter this year is down from last year and the average.  The average in July caught up with last year’s pace but remained below the previous five-year average.

The average daily gain of cattle marketed to packers in July was 3.53 pounds, up from June’s 3.33 pounds and even with last July’s pace.  It also was below the 3.616-pound average.




Cash cattle trade last week was at $100 to $103 per cwt on a live basis, $2 to $5 lower than the previous week.  Dressed-basis trade was at $160 to $167, $4 to $10 lower.

The USDA choice cutout Wednesday was down $5.49 per cwt at $219.89, while select was off $2.58 at $198.40.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $21.49 from $24.40 with 127 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Monday was $136.17 per cwt, down $0.20 from the previous day.  This compares with Wednesday’s Sep contract settlement of $136.07, up $2.17.