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Market Reports

Read new forecasts and indicators involving beef cattle and feed markets. Find out what factors are affecting prices.

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In November, slaughter was higher year-over-year. While the increase in total cattle slaughter can be attributed to the additional slaughter day in November 2021 relative to a year prior, the average pace of fed cattle slaughter was higher on a per-weekday basis, with Saturday slaughter averaging lower.

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Based on the latest USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) federally inspected Livestock Slaughter report, the inferred (federally inspected production/federally inspected head slaughtered) carcass weight for September is 827.1 pounds, while the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) weekly actual and estimated federally inspected Livestock Slaughter reports showed that the inferred weight for October was 831.8 pounds, about 4.7 pounds heavier month-over-month.

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Total commercial beef production in 2021 was raised to 27.832 billion pounds from last month on anticipated heavier carcass weights and higher cow slaughter.

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Slaughter remains higher year-over-year. Preliminary estimated federally inspected cattle slaughter for August was up 3.1% from a year ago. Notably, the weekly estimated FI cow slaughter through Aug. 28 was up 13% year-over-year.

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The federally inspected slaughter for June was strong, exceeding the three previous years. More heifers and cows were in the slaughter mix in June, causing the average carcass weight to drop below the previous month’s expectations.

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As reported by the U.S. Drought Monitor on May 4, 2021, 66% of the country was experiencing some level of drought, compared to just 31% the same week last year (see Figure 1).

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