January 1 Weekly Update

01/01 – Two USDA reports issued on Dec 22 confirmed large meat supplies for the 1st half of 2018. The USDA said new cattle placements onto feedlots in Nov were 14% above a year ago. That pushed total feedlot inventories on Dec 1 to 11.5M head, up 8% from last year. Cattle futures contracts for Feb & April 2018 are averaging $122/cwt, just marginally above year ago levels. In its quarterly Hogs & Pigs Report, the USDA said that total hog inventories (+2%), breeding inventory (+1%), market hog inventory (+2%) and the Sept-Nov pig crop (+3%) on Dec 1 were all up from a year ago, but slightly below Sept 1 numbers. Farrowing intentions Dec-Feb are up 3% from year ago. Deferred lean hog futures contracts for Feb & April 2018 currently average $74/cwt, well below 2017’s $82 average. – – Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and low food cost year in 2018!