Livestock Marketing Information Center

Current Situation and Analysis
Last Updated: 10/23/2020
Trends. . . CATTLE ON FEED QUARTERLY

With the October release of cattle on feed, comes an update of the steer to heifer ratio in feedlots. The quarterly figures help estimate the number of heifers being retained for breeding purposes and define the cattle cycle curve.  The U.S. cattle cycle was thought to have turned last year, as the January 1, 2020 beef cattle inventory was lower than the previous year. Heifers as a percent of cattle on feed climbed through 2019 and that proportion has held rather steady in 2020. 


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ADVANCED RETAIL SALES

The economy is improving, isn’t it?  Throughout the pandemic we have looked at the advanced estimates of monthly retail sales for clues as to the depth of the recession as well as the recover.  September data was released last week and showed that improvements are slow.  The retail sector continues to be one of the hardest hit sectors of the economy.  Clothing and accessory stores are down 32.6% in the first nine months of 2020 compared to a year ago.


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LOWER RED MEAT IN COLD STORAGE

Cold storage statistics for September reported total red meat down 13.2% to 968.4 million pounds with total poultry meat down 3.2% to just over 1.4 billion pounds. The last time total red meat reached this low for September was 2011 when stocks sank to 944.9 million pounds. The decline in total red meat stocks is due primarily to pork which is down 22.1% to 466.5 million pounds, while beef is down 1.5% to 462.0 million pounds.


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