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Cattle on Feed Report     07/19  14:06

July 1 Cattle on Feed Up 1% from Year Ago

By DTN Staff

                      USDA Actual   Average Estimate       Range
On Feed July 1            101%          101.0%      100.1-101.7%
Placed in June             93%           96.4%       89.9-100.7%
Marketed in June           91%           91.5%        90.0-94.5%

OMAHA (DTN) -- Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter 
market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 
or more head totaled 11.3 million head on July 1, 2024. The 
inventory was 1% above July 1, 2023, USDA NASS reported on 
Friday. 

The inventory included 6.82 million steers and steer calves, up 
1% from the previous year. This group accounted for 60% of the 
total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 4.48 
million head, up slightly from 2023.

Placements in feedlots during June totaled 1.56 million head, 7% 
below 2023. Net placements were 1.51 million head. During June, 
placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds 
were 365,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 255,000 head, 700-799 
pounds were 350,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 349,000 head, 900-
999 pounds were 165,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 
80,000 head.

Marketings of fed cattle during June totaled 1.79 million head, 
9% below 2023. Marketings were the second lowest for June since 
the series began in 1996.

Other disappearance totaled 57,000 head during June, 17% below 
2023.

DTN ANALYSIS

"Friday's Cattle on Feed report came out almost identical to 
what analysts' pre-report projections were, other than in the 
placement category, which came in 3.4 percentage points less 
than originally expected," said DTN Livestock Analyst ShayLe 
Stewart.
 
"There are two likely ways in which Monday's market could react 
to Friday's Cattle on Feed report," Stewart said. "On the one 
hand, traders could find the report to be neutral given that 
pre-report estimates were nearly perfect and given that the 
market had traded cautiously throughout the week in preparation 
for the report, which was expected to showcase higher on-feed 
totals and weaker marketings, like it did. But reason and logic 
don't always win, and there's still a chance that the report 
could be found to be somewhat bearish given that on-feed totals 
have been confirmed to be higher than a year ago and that 
marketings have softened compared to a year ago. Regardless of 
how traders react on Monday, there wasn't anything outlandish in 
the report that should cause traders to react to the document 
for more than a day or two at the longest.
 
"In terms of the on-feed data, it comes as no surprise to anyone 
that in our current situation where packers are struggling to 
keep margins positive, on-feed totals have grown as packers are 
reducing slaughter speeds to slow up the cash cattle market. 
This week's slaughter is evidence of just that, as the week's 
total slaughter is only estimated at 584,000 head, which is 
17,000 head less than a week ago and 41,000 head less than a 
year ago. Until consumer demand perks back up, which 
historically has been when temperatures cool around Labor Day, 
the market could see this trend of slower chain speeds as 
packers fear being at the mercy of the cash cattle market at a 
time when smaller calf crops are the norm. 

"Secondly, it was relieving to see the report's placement 
lighter than a year ago. Last month we saw feeder cattle 
placements up 4%, which caught the market off guard. But with 
historically higher feeder cattle prices, cattlemen have been 
eager to market their calves while the industry's prices are 
strong. But from an input/output perspective, Friday's report 
solidifies the fact that, yes, more feeders were marketed early 
this year than normal. The only states that saw feeder cattle 
placements increase compared to a year ago were Colorado (up 
11%), Idaho (up 3%), South Dakota (up 9%) and Washington (up 
8%).

"In conclusion, I personally find Friday's Cattle on Feed report 
to be neutral given that the report showcased nothing that 
wasn't already known," Stewart said.

**

DTN subscribers can view the full Cattle on Feed reports in the 
Livestock Archives folder under the Markets menu. The report is 
also available at https://www.nass.usda.gov/.


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