Cattle on feed reports and cattle imports

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Source: Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

What is the latest number of cattle in feedlot before going to market? Jason Wood, provincial livestock market analyst with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, compares the latest cattle on feed reports and looks at the non-purebred cattle imports.

According to Statistics Canada data, live non-purebred cattle imports to the end of September 2018, numbered 112,534 head for Canada with 47 per cent or 53,069 head imported to Alberta. In 2017, more than 132,000 non-purebred cattle were imported into Canada from the U.S., with 56 per cent coming into Alberta.

“For 2018, the monthly cattle import numbers have been above last year’s level,” says Wood. “The higher volume of imports throughout 2018 suggests we may not see the surge in quarter four that was seen in 2017. The other factor that may affect cattle imports, specifically for Alberta, is reports of some feedlots being at or near capacity which is a sign of a slowdown in placements overall moving forward.”

Wood says that according to the November 1, 2018, Canfax Alberta/Saskatchewan Cattle on Feed Report, that number is up 16 per cent year over year and 11 per cent higher than the 5-year average, with 925,883 head on feed.

“Both placement and marketings were higher in October. Placements were up 4.8 per cent and marketing up 5.3 per cent year over year. Excluding May 2018, the monthly cattle on feed numbers have been larger than year ago levels since June of 2017.”

Wood compares that to the November 1, 2018 USDA U.S. Cattle on Feed Report. “Listed were 11.692 million head on feed, up 3.2 per cent from November 2017, and 8.4 per cent higher than the 5-year average. Placements were 2.248 million head, down 6.1 per cent year over year while marketings were up 4.8 per cent year over year.”

“The USDA cattle on feed numbers were below expectations, driven by higher marketings and lower than expected placements,” Wood adds. “The lower cattle on feed inventory did show support for the live and feeder cattle futures given that fed cattle supplies are now expected to tighten up a bit in 2019.”

For more information, contact Jason Wood at 780-422-3122.

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