The estimate of Dec. 1, 2012, stocks, to be released on Jan. 11, 2013, will allow for the calculation of feed and residual use during the first quarter of the 2012-13 marketing year. Until then, expectations about the likely pace of feed consumption are based on anecdotal information such as livestock inventories, slaughter numbers, and slaughter weights.
"In the case of cattle, feedlot inventories are declining, down 3% on Oct. 1, and are expected to continue to decline as the result of the smaller supply of feeder cattle. The number of cattle slaughtered in September was 12% smaller than in September 2011, although average weights were up 3%," he adds.
The inventory of market hogs on Sept. 1 was about equal to that of a year earlier. Sow farrowings were down about 3% in the fall quarter, but intentions for the winter quarter were off only 1%. Slaughter numbers in September were down about 2%.
"Taken together, current livestock data suggest the pace of feed and residual consumption of corn has slowed and will continue to slow even though the pace of wheat feeding has likely slowed substantially, and supplies of distillers' grains are smaller than those of a year earlier," Good says.
Corn consumption is clearly slowing, but the pace may not yet be slow enough to ration available supplies. This suggests that, while higher prices are not likely needed, current price levels will be maintained a while longer, Good concludes.