Market News & Headlines >> Feedlot Placements Lower than Expected
Friday’s monthly USDA Cattle-on-Feed report looked mildly friendly for live cattle futures as it pegged April feedlot placements at the low end of the range of trade expectations, although it also confirmed slow feedlot marketings.
USDA pegged April feedlot placements at 95.4% of a year earlier, compared with trade estimates that averaged 100.9% of a year earlier in a range from 95.2%-105.5%, according to a survey of nine analysts by Reuters News Service. USDA put April feedlot marketings at 92.2% of a year earlier, compared with pre-report estimates that averaged 92.5% of a year earlier in a range from 91.7%-94.1%.
The May 1 feedlot inventory came in at 100.8% of a year earlier, toward the low end of trade estimates that averaged 101.4% of a year earlier in a range from 100.4%-102.4%.
April placements were likely limited by improved pasture conditions and by expansion of cow-calf operations. Feedlot marketings were down in part because April had one less marketing day this year than in 2014.
In actual numbers, the May 1 feedlot inventory totaled 10.640 million head, up 106,000 head from a year earlier, but would still below the five-year average for the date. April feedlot placements totaled 1.548 million head, down 75,000 head from last year and 94,000 head below the 5-year average. April marketings totaled 1.639 million head, down 139,000 head from last year and were the lowest recorded in the current USDA data series going back to 1996.
The trend of heavyweight feedlot placements continued as even though overall placements were down, placements of animals weighing 800 pounds or more were up 6.7% from a year earlier.