Market News & Headlines >> Cattle-on-Feed Report Price Friendly

Friday afternoon’s USDA Cattle-on-Feed report looked neutral to friendly for live cattle prices with USDA pegging April feedlot placements down about 5% from a year earlier.

At 95% of a year earlier, the USDA placements figure was toward the low end of pre-report estimates of that averaged 96.4% of a year earlier in a range from 90% to 100.5%, according to a survey of 13 analysts by Bloomberg News.

The feedlot inventory number looks neutral for the market with USDA pegging the May supply of cattle on feed at 99.0% of a year earlier, compared with trade estimates of that averaged 99.2% in a range from 98.5%-100.0%.

April feedlot marketings were also neutral at 98.0% of a year earlier versus trade estimates averaging 97.9% of a year earlier in a range from 96.5%-99.0%.

Tight supplies of cattle outside of feedlots likely limited April placements along with seasonal movement of cattle onto spring pasture. The supply of feeder cattle outside of feedlots as of April 1 was record tight, 5.1% below a year earlier.

In actual numbers, the May 1 feedlot inventory was 10.648 million head, 112,000 head smaller than a year earlier and 225,000 head smaller than a month earlier. April feedlot placements totaled 1.636 million head, 84,000 below a year earlier and 172,000 below a month earlier. April feedlot marketings totaled 1.778 million head, 37,000 head below a year earlier, but 118,000 above a month earlier.