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Cattle on Feed Report     06/21  15:00

June 1 Cattle on Feed Down Slightly From Year Ago

By DTN Staff

                      USDA Actual   Average Estimate       Range
On Feed June 1           100%            99.2%       98.3-100.7%
Placed in May            104%            99.4%       95.0-102.4%
Marketed in May          100%           100.1%       99.3-101.2%

This article was originally published at 2:07 p.m. CDT on 
Friday, June 21. It was last updated with additional information 
at 3:00 p.m. CDT on Friday, June 21.

**

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 11.6 million head on June 1, 2024. The 
inventory was slightly below June 1, 2023, USDA NASS reported on 
Friday.

Placements in feedlots during May totaled 2.05 million head, 4% 
above 2023. Net placements were 1.98 million head. During May, 
placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds 
were 395,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 315,000 head, 700-799 
pounds were 485,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 531,000 head, 900-
999 pounds were 230,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 
90,000 head.

Marketings of fed cattle during May totaled 1.96 million head, 
slightly above 2023.

Other disappearance totaled 62,000 head during May, 16% below 
2023.

DTN ANALYSIS

"It wouldn't be a fun Friday without some discrepancies on the 
Cattle on Feed report, right?" said DTN Livestock Analyst ShayLe 
Stewart. "Friday's COF report was expected to be neutral to 
somewhat supportive given that analysts' pre-report estimates 
for on-feed totals and placements were both expected to be 
lighter than a year ago. But low and behold, placements are 
noted at 2,046,000 head for the month of May, which is 4% higher 
than a year ago. 

"In a normal year, this wouldn't be eyebrow-raising material, as 
May, September and October are historically the biggest 
placement months of the calendar year. But given how 
aggressively calves and feeders were placed early in the year, I 
question today's placement data. And based on what the USDA 
National Weekly Feeder & Stocker Summary report has shared for 
weekly feeder cattle sales nationwide, it's reasonable to be 
questioning today's report. I went back through all the data for 
the month of May, and the USDA National Weekly Feeder & Stocker 
Summary report shared that for the entire month of May, in 2024, 
there were 885,200 head of feeders/stockers sold. That is 66,600 
head less than the total number of feeders/stockers marketed in 
May of 2023. 

"I understand that feeder cattle prices are high, which is 
motivating some ranchers to market their calves/feeders earlier 
than they normally do. But given the sale receipts we've seen 
from sale barns and the sheer fact that there are fewer feeders 
to be had this year, I struggle to believe that placements were 
truly up 4% in May.
 
"If I am wrong, and the data is true, however, that would 
indicate that in the fall of 2024, feeder cattle supplies should 
be drastically reduced, as placements in the first half of the 
year were vast. 

"When combing through the data, I think it's also worth noting 
that there wasn't one single weight group that in May 2024 
didn't outpace placements a month ago or compared to a year ago
. 
"The on-feed and marketing data was less attention-demanding, as 
both fell closely in line with what analysts estimated. But 
unfortunately, it's likely that traders will react poorly to 
this report on Monday, as Friday's placement data throws a 
curveball into the mix that only time will be able to answer. I 
don't believe that this report will affect the market 
fundamentally, however, as the cash cattle complex is trading 
extremely strong, and feeder cattle are in extreme demand," 
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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