The latest cattle-on-feed number was down 6% compared to a year ago; placements were down 5%. Meanwhile, marketings were 9% below last year and 12% below two-year-ago levels. Cattle inventory numbers are tight, supplies are tight, and will remain so in the short term.
This market has been demand-driven ever since the financial meltdown; even then, it’s more about demand concerns than actual demand. With the auto industry buyout, layoffs and unemployment numbers dominating coverage, it isn't surprising that attitudes are bleak. Despite comparisons to the Great Depression, I wouldn't bet against the American economy or the American worker.