Friday’s report is anticipated not only for the information that enables market analysts to estimate slaughter cattle supplies, but also because the January report was unpublished due to the government shutdown.
Moisture came to about two-thirds of the country last week, dropping heavy precipitation from the southern Great Plains northeastward into the northern Appalachians. But many areas remains in significant drought.
Anecdotal evidence and supply observations suggest packers have recently had a negotiating advantage over feedlots. Packer margins continue to be wide and the supply of cattle on feed continues to be high.