By the numbers, cattle producers with summer stockers and cow-calf operations should be experiencing a bit less stress about the market this year.
Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 10.8 million head on Oct. 1, 2010.
The pain eased somewhat for cattle feeders last week, but losses remain more than $170 per head.
Meaningful change isn’t accomplished overnight. More often, it happens slowly by chipping away piece by piece until something new suddenly takes shape.
Feeder markets are reflecting a mix of influences including seasonal supplies of calves, wheat pasture forage conditions, higher corn prices and volatility in futures markets.
The October cattle on feed report is bullish. USDA says September placements were down 1.9% and marketings were up 5.5%. The on-feed number is up 0.4% compared to last year.
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Trade data for May shows sharply lower beef exports, likely due to COVID-19 related disruptions in beef production and also in part due to decreased international beef demand.