December 18, 2013

Analysts expect Friday’s Cattle on Feed report from USDA to show slightly higher placements than one year ago but another month of lower feedlot inventories. That according to the monthly survey of analysts released by Urner Barry on Tuesday.

Note that Urner Barry, best known as the publisher of The Yellow Sheet price report, is the latest entry into the pre-report survey business for livestock. Dow Jones and Reuters also do prereport surveys for the Cattle on Feed report. The three efforts have, to date, involved a great deal of overlap among respondents and, to our knowledge, all of the groups use the same “Olympic” averaging method of throwing out the high and low estimate and averaging the remaining responses. Urner Barry’s sample for this survey covered eleven analysts. That is a pretty normal response number for any of the three surveying companies. The Daily Livestock Report is not affiliated with any of the groups and will likely use various ones from time to time given the similarity of the analysts they survey and their computation methods. We view them, at least for now, as interchangeable.

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