Market News & Headlines >> Cattle-on-Feed Neutral Vs. Trade Expectations
Friday afternoon’s monthly USDA Cattle-on-Feed report confirmed trade expectations for both March feedlot placements and marketings to be down from a year earlier and could not have been much more neutral relative to trade expectations.
Live cattle futures rallied on Monday in response to stronger Plains cash trade and the neutral report. The April 1 feedlot inventory was historically large, however, which figures to cap market strength.
USDA pegged the April 1 12-state feedlot inventory at 11.729 million head, 107.4% of a year earlier compared with trade estimates that averaged 107.5% in a range from 106.5%-108.2% of a year earlier. The April 1 feedlot inventory was the largest for the date in 12 years and the second largest on record in the current USDA data series going back to 1996.
March feedlot placements were reported by USDA at 1.921 million head, 90.7% of a year earlier versus trade estimates averaging 90.3% of a year earlier in a range from 84.8%-94.5%. March was the first time monthly feedlot placements were below a year in 13 months. March placements were down from a record high in 2017 and were slightly above the five-year average.
March feedlot marketings came in at 1.840 million head, 96.1% of a year earlier compared with trade estimates that averaged 95.9% of a year earlier in a range from 95.0%-96.3%.