Market News & Headlines >> July Feedlot Placements Seen up vs. 2016

The livestock trade is expecting Friday’s afternoon’s USDA monthly Cattle-on-Feed report to show placements of cattle on feed were above a year earlier in July for a fifth consecutive month. 

Trade estimates of July feedlot placements average 106.2% of a year earlier in a range from 100.8%-114.5%, according to a Reuters News Service survey of 10 analysts. Pre-report estimates of July marketings average 104.9% of a year earlier in a range from 104.0%-107.9%, while estimates of the Aug. 1 feedlot inventory average 104.7% in a range from 103.5%-106.1%. 

The range of placement estimates is wide, indicating a good deal of uncertainty in the market over how many cattle went on feed last month. Tightening supplies of cattle outside of feedlots may have limited placements, but drought conditions in the northern Plains may have forced some animals onto feed. If placements come in at the average of trade expectations, they would be the highest in four years at 1.670 million head, 98,000 above a year earlier. 

If July feedlot marketings come in at the average of trade expectations they would be the largest in four years at 1.796 million head, 83,000 above a year earlier. If marketings are above a year earlier as is likely, it will mark the twelfth straight year-over-year increase in monthly marketings. 

At the average of trade estimates, the Aug. 1 U.S. feedlot inventory would be the highest in five years at 10.645 million head, 480,000 above a year earlier, but would be 176,000 head smaller than a month earlier.