Russia announced this week it will revoke privileges on U.S. meat imports if Washington doesn't open the way for the country's admission to the World Trade Organization, or WTO. By far the largest economy outside the 149-nation WTO, Russia sees membership as a way to demonstrate how far it has come since its economic collapse in 1998. But disputes over Russian trade barriers to American beef and pork, among other things, have led the U.S. to be the last major country that has not approved Russian membership in the WTO. The markets failed to react to this week's development, as the trade focused on the government's latest inventory of U.S. cattle.
The Agriculture Department reports the number of cattle in feedlots total more than 10 million, making it the second highest August inventory on record since the series began in 1996.
According to USDA, the total number of cattle on-feed -- a nose count of all animals in feedlots with 1000 head or more last month -- was 7 percent above a year ago.
July placements - young cattle just put into feedlots – totaled 1.96 million head – or 17 percent above a year ago.
Marketing of fed cattle last month – those animals sold to packers – reached nearly 2 million – or 2 percent above year ago levels.