The USDA semi-annual survey came out last friday that showed the US cowherd at the lowest numbers since 1959. It was 2.2 million head less than was anticipated.For more on the report try dailylivestockreport.com here are the high spots from the DLR.
USDA released on Friday, January 30, the results of its semi-annual survey of the US cattle
and calves inventory as of January 1, 2009. Pre-report estimates were looking for a continued decline in US cattle inventories and the USDA survey not only confirmed that expectation
but showed that the decline in inventories has been notably larger than earlier estimates. In
addition, USDA revised lower its cattle numbers reported for January 1, 2008, making the overall
cattle numbers as of January 1, 2009 even lower than previously expected.
Total cattle and calves inventory as of January 1, 2009 was pegged at 94.491 million head,
1.6% lower than a year ago. Pre-report estimates were looking for a 0.7% decline in overall inventories. USDA also revised lower its 2008 inventory numbers from 96.663 million head to 96.035 million.
This means that current inventories are down 2.2% or 2.172 million head than previously thought.
We think the USDA adjustment is quite large and coupled with the larger than expected reduction in
overall inventories it makes for a more bullish outlook for US beef prices going forward. The current
cattle inventory is the smallest since January 1, 1959 (see chart).