Derrell Peel Sees Slight Surprise in Slow Pace of Cattle Liquidation

Listen to Ron Hays talk with Derrell Peel about the latest Cattle on Feed Report.

Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is talking with Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist Dr. Derrell Peel, about the latest USDA Cattle on Feed report, released September 22, 2023.

“No big surprises in this report,” Rodenberger said. “We had marketings in the month of August down 6 percent, 94 percent of last year, placements were 95 percent of last year, and the on-feed total coming into September was down about 2 percent, 98 percent of last year.”

If there are any surprises in the report, Peel said it is that liquidation has been a slow process.

“We are still down only two percent year over year,” Peel said.
Last October, Peel added, was when year-over-year decreases began.

“As we go forward and we continue this trend, even if it is a couple percent below a year earlier, and sort of compound it on a year-over-year basis, that means we are going to be pulling cattle numbers down a little bit faster,” Peel said. “We are clearly working our way into tighter numbers and that is the really important point as we go forward.”

Placement numbers in the most recent report and a few reports prior have been under a year ago.

“One of the reasons placements have stayed relatively high, they are down pretty consistently, but they have stayed as high as they can be, I guess I would say, and that is simply because feedlots would obviously like to maintain inventories,” Peel said. “They are trying to keep their lots full and keep the feed mills working. They can, it is just that over time it is going to be harder and harder as these cattle numbers continue to tighten.”

Total slaughter for the year so far, Peel said, is down about 3.9 percent. Beef production, he added, is down 5 percent for the year.

“Our expectations are for beef production to drop another 6 to 8 percent in 2024, and still be down in 2025 at this point,” Peel said. “We are going to continue to see these things tighten up.”

With beef prices at record levels, Peel said time will tell if consumers will be willing to continue to pay more as supplies continue to tighten.

“Some consumers are not going to buy as much beef, but that is just because there isn’t beef out there,” Peel said. “We will probably see higher prices. That is kind of the way markets work when we get into tighter supplies.”

To see the latest Cattle on Feed report, CLICK HERE.

To access previous Cattle on Feed reports, CLICK HERE.

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