November Kansas Closeouts Sharply Lower

Kansas feedlot closeouts turned sharply lower in November and nearly matched 2015’s rate in a directionally seasonal move that still exceeded 2015 and the 2010-2014 average.

Feedlot data was collected by Kansas State University economists from select feedlots around the state and extrapolated to come up with an estimate of average feedlot activity across the state.  The data then was compiled by the Livestock Marketing Information Center.

The data showed that feedlot sales of slaughter-ready steers in November averaged 4,468 head, up 13, or 0.29%, from 4,455 a year earlier and up 1,793, or 67.0%, from the previous five-year average of 2,675.

Feedlot closeouts in November and December of 2015 operated counter to the 2010-2014 average, and if December marketings to packers follow that trend, they declined in December 2016 as well.  But if marketings followed the five-year average, they will show an increase in the January USDA Cattle on Feed report.




Partially covering the loss in beef production during November’s marketings downturn in Kansas were higher slaughter weights, the K-State survey showed.

November weights were up 12 pounds, or 0.84%, to 1,438 from 1,426 in October but remained 29 pounds, or 1.98%, below the 1,467 pounds of a year earlier, the survey said.  Weights also were 51 pounds, or 3.68%, above the 2010-2014 average of 1,387 pounds.

The November rise in Kansas closeout weights also was counter to the direction of 2015 and the 2010-2014 average.  This gives no hint about the direction of Kansas sale weights in December since last year’s weights declined during the month while the five-year average is a gain to the year’s highest level.

However, looking at the national weekly average dressed weight for steers, a definite downturn was noted.  The only difference was that weekly national dressed weights declined in November as well.

For December, previous K-State surveys showed that last year, sale weights of fed steers in the state continued November’s decline, falling 11 pounds, or 0.75%, to 1,456 pounds from 1,467 in November.  December 2015’s sale weights also were 59 pounds, or 4.22%, above the previous five-year average of 1,397 pounds.

To get the extra poundage in November, Kansas feedlots kept the cattle on feed longer.  K-State survey data showed the average number of days on feed in November was 159, up 7, or 4.61%, from October’s 152 but down 6, or 3.64%, below the November 2015 level of 165 and 18, or 12.8%, above the 1010-2014 average of 141.




No fed cattle bids have been reported yet this week, but asking prices were said to be about $120 per cwt on a live basis and to range from $190 to $192 dressed.

Average auction prices last Wednesday were $1.40 per cwt higher at $116.79, versus $115.39 a week earlier.  Cash cattle then traded at $116.50 to mostly $118 on a live basis, steady with the upper end of the previous week’s range.  Dressed-basis trades were reported at $188 versus the previous week’s range of $188 to $190.

The USDA’s choice cutout Tuesday was down $3.97 per cwt at $193.38 per cwt, while select was off $1.97 at $189.97.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $3.41 from $5.41 with 126 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The USDA said wholesale beef prices were lower in light buying interest and moderate-to-heavy offerings.  Ribs and loins were steady to weak, while end cuts were lower. Trimmings were flat to slightly higher.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Monday was $132.72 per cwt, down $0.39.  This compares with Tuesday’s Jan settlement of $132.70, up $3.42.