Live cattle futures finished the week with $3-5 worth of gains and feeder cattle futures were up generally $2-3, despite a mostly lower trade during Friday's session. And we'll be expecting that weaker tone to continue here again this morning as both the USDA Cattle on Feed and late-developing cash cattle trade look disappointing. USDA COF report showed the Oct 1 on feed count at 102.3% of a year ago, Sep placements 95.9%, and Sep marketings 97.6%. This is a record small placement total for the month, but still 2% larger than we'd expected resulting in the on feed count coming in larger than expected as well. Placements were again skewed toward the heavy weight category. Also interesting to see the quarterly steer/heifer breakdown showing the steer on feed count up 7% vs last year while heifers were down 7%, further confirming ideas of heifer retention and herd rebuilding at the ranch level. Weekly slaughter coming in at just 556K head, down from 573K the prior week as packer processing margins have been pared.
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