Market News & Headlines >> Continued Moderate Cattle Herd Expansion Seen
The livestock trade is anticipating Wednesday afternoon’s semi-annual Cattle Inventory report from USDA will show the U.S. cattle herd continued to expand moderately for a fourth straight year during 2017 amid low grain prices.
Pre-report estimates of the total U.S. cattle herd average 101.3% of a year earlier in a range from 101.0%-101.9%, according to four analysts surveyed by Reuters News Service.
Trade estimates of the total U.S. cow herd average 101.5% of a year earlier in a range from 101.3%-101.6%, with estimates of the beef cow herd averaging 101.8% of a year earlier in a range from 101.7%-101.9%.
However, estimates of the supply of heifers retained for beef cow replacement average only 96.2% of a year earlier in a range from 90.7%-100.4%, following higher U.S. feedlot placements through most of 2017.
On average, USDA is expected to peg the 2017 calf crop at 101.9% of a year earlier in a range from 101.3%-102.8%.