Cattle on Feed Report: Friendly Compared to Expectations

02:33PM Apr 25, 2014
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As of April 1, U.S. feedlot inventories totaled 10.860 million head, according to USDA's monthly Cattle on Feed Report. That was roughly 70,000 head less than the average pre-report guess implied traders were expecting. While Marketings last month at 4% under year-ago were slightly less than anticipated, Placements dropped a greater-than-expected 5%, pulling the On Feed number slightly lower than year-ago and the average pre-report guess.

 

Report details
USDA
Avg. Trade Guess
Range
% of year-ago levels
On Feed
99
100.2
99.0-100.8
Placements
95
100.8
95.3-104.0
Marketings
96
96.4
95.0-98.8

A breakdown of calf movement into feedlots during March shows only lightweight placements increased at 3.7% above year-ago. Six-weight placements dropped 7.9%, 7-weight placements declined 13.1% and heavyweight placements fell 1.4% from year-ago levels last month. Placements in Kansas and Texas declined markedly from year-ago, down a combined 95,000 head from year-ago.

The report data should be supportive for deferred live cattle futures Monday as the Placements number was below the bottom end of the guess range. But nearby futures may be pressured by lower cash cattle trade in the Plains.


 

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