Market News & Headlines >> U.S. Feedlot Inventory Largest in 3 Years

Friday’s monthly USDA Cattle-on-Feed report showed record low feedlot marketings for the seventh consecutive month, while confirming trade expectations for July placements of cattle on feed to near the year-earlier level.

As a result, the Aug. 1 supply of cattle on was up against last year in line with expectations. USDA pegged the Aug. 1 U.S. feedlot inventory at 102.6% of a year earlier, closely in line with trade estimates, which averaged 102.5% in a range from 101.5%-103.5%. In actual numbers, the Aug. 1 feedlot inventory was 10.002 million head, 250,000 above a year earlier and the largest in three years, although it was just 6,000 above the average of trade expectations.

July feedlot placements were pegged at 99.2% of a year earlier, compared with pre-report estimates averaging 100.0% in a wide range from 94.1%-105.2%.  In actual numbers, July placements totaled roughly 1.547 million head, down just 12,000 head from a year earlier and the average of trade estimates.

USDA put July feedlot marketings at 96.5% versus trade estimates that averaged 96.8% in a range from 93.8%-97.9%. In actual numbers, July marketings were 1.725 million head, 62,000 below a year earlier, but only 5,000 below the average of trade expectations.

Cattle continued to go on feed at relatively high weights, with placements of cattle weighing 800 pounds or more up 19.2% from a year earlier and placements in the 3 lighter weight categories down from last year. This suggests larger market-ready cattle supplies this winter.