For example, Asian feed demand is down 10 to 15 percent this year ... and the August crush totals from NOPA fell short of trade expectations.
Those supply and demand fundamentals also are at play in the cattle market, where beef producers this week pondered the latest feedlot inventory from USDA.
That notion was borne out in the release Friday of USDA's September cattle-on-feed report. The inventory revealed total cattle on feed at 101 percent of a year ago ... the number placed at 88 percent ... and the number marketed at just 93 percent.
Analysts say an increase in the on-feed population is NOT unusual at this time of year, but noted that it's usually driven by higher placements, not lower marketings. But it was the fifth straight month of smaller than 2003 marketings ... and a third consecutive month for lower placements.
Traders cited a number of reasons why feedlots were reluctant to move livestock last month: Revenue from fed cattle sales was dropping, feeder costs remained high, and replacement numbers were tight.