USDA’s latest Cattle on Feed report, released October 23, shows the number of animals on feed as of October 1 is higher than it was this time last year. The report provides monthly estimates of the number of cattle being fed for slaughter. For the report, USDA surveys feedlots of 1,000 head or more, as this represents 85% of all fed cattle. Cattle feeders provide data on inventory, placements, marketings and other disappearance.
October Cattle on Feed Report
This report showed a total inventory of 11.717 million head for the United States on October 1, the highest October 1 inventory level since the series began in 1996. This 3.8% year-over-year increase is slightly above analysts’ expectations of an average increase of 3.2% in feedlot inventories. Large placements helped to offset the large marketings and pushed cattle on feed up 429,000 head over last year. Typically, October begins the slow build up of animals after September lows, and this year it looks as if we are seeing this seasonality play out. After strong impacts from the pandemic in April and May, the number of cattle on feed has largely followed seasonal patterns.