Market News & Headlines >> USDA Expected to Report Rebound in Feedlot Placements

The cattle trade is expecting Friday afternoon’s USDA monthly Cattle-on-Feed report to show that feedlot placements bounced back significantly during May amid ample feeder cattle supplies, while feedlot marketings remained sharply below a year earlier due to Covid-19 related slaughter disruptions. 

The June 1 feedlot inventory is expected to remain below a year earlier, though, in the wake of historically low feedlot placements during March and April, but implied supplies of market-ready cattle will likely be up significantly.

Pre-report trade estimates of the June 1 feedlot inventory average 98.7% of a year earlier in a range from 95.5%-100.0%, according to a survey of 11 analysts by Reuters News Service. If the feedlot inventory were to come in at the average of trade expectations, it would total 11.587 million head, down 141,000 head from a year earlier. 

Trade expectations for May feedlot placements average 96.1% of a year earlier in a range from 81.2%-102.2%, while pre-report estimates of May feedlot marketings average 73.9% of a year earlier in a range from 72.7%-76.8%. 

If May feedlot placements were to match the average of trade estimates, they would total 1.984 million head, 79,000 below a year earlier. 

If May feedlot marketings match the average of expectations, they would total 1.530 million head, 540,000 below a year earlier and would be the lowest on record for the month in the current USDA data series going back to 1996.