Kansas Feedlots Boost June Marketing Rate

Kansas feedlots sold more cattle to beef packers in June than they did in May, but totals moved still remained below last year, according to data collected by Kansas State University.

The KSU Extension Service collects feedlot data from selected feedlots.  The data then is extrapolated to give a representative view of the whole state, and the Livestock Marketing Information Center compiles the data for viewing.

The average number of slaughter-ready cattle marketed to packers in June was 5,012 head, 553, or 9.94%, below last year’s 5,565.  June’s total, however, was 1,239 head, or 32.8%, above the 2011-2015 average of 3,773.

If activity in July held true to last and the average, Kansas feedlot marketings should have declined from June.

However, if Kansas feedlot marketings continue to rise, they will move higher, not lower.  This will take them back above a year ago for the first time since February.

 

JUNE MARKET WEIGHTS DOWN

 

While Kansas feedlots sold more cattle in June than they did in May, their weights continued to decline, and they did so contra-seasonally.  The average weight of steers sold to packers during the month was 1,332 pounds, down 19, or 1.41%, from 1,351 in May, but more importantly, it was down 67 pounds, or 4.79%, from 1,399 pounds a year ago and down 37 pounds, or 2.70%, from the previous five-year average of 1,369 pounds.

Slaughter weights from Kansas feedlots should move higher in July and August.  If they don’t, they’re fighting a strong seasonal norm.

 

DAYS ON FEED DROPS

 

As might be expected with lower slaughter weights, the average number of days the June feedlot marketings were on feed fell sharply from May.

The KSU data showed that, on average, the cattle sold to packers in June spent 162 days on feed, down 12, or 6.90%, from this year’s high of 174 in May but still 5 days, or 3.18%, more than last year’s 157 and 1.4 days, or 0.87%, more than the 2011-2015 average of 160.6.

If the seasonal trend holds, average days on feed should decline at least through August and possibly through November.  Last year, they bounced in August, but the previous five-year average says they’ll bottom in November.

 

DAILY GAIN BOUNCES

 

True to form, the average daily gain of cattle sold to packers in June bottomed in May and rose in June.

Kansas cattle sold in June averaged a daily feedlot gain of 3.38 pounds, compared with May’s 3.21 pounds.  A year ago, the average daily gain of June marketings was 3.69 pounds, and the 2011-2015 average was 3.71 pounds.

 

CATTLE, BEEF RECAP

 

Fed cattle sales on the livestock exchange video auction last Wednesday averaged $117.68 per cwt, down $0.59 from $118.27 last week.  Lots with one- to nine-day delivery sold at $117.72, compared with $118.30 the previous week, and lots with one- to 17-day delivery sold at $117.63, compared with $118.00 last week.

Light cash cattle trading last week was reported at $117 per cwt on a live basis, down from $118.25 to $120.50, mostly $120 the previous week.  Dressed-basis trade was at $187 to $188, down $2.

The USDA’s choice cutout Tuesday was down $0.34 per cwt at $205.41, while select was up $0.45 at $198.29.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $7.12 from $7.91 with 98 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle index for the seven days ended Tuesday was $150.79 per cwt, up $0.38.  This compares with Tuesday’s Aug settlement at $149.17, up $3.00.