USDA released their monthly Cattle on Feed report Friday afternoon (Apr 20). The report revealed that 11.482 million head of cattle were in feedlots with 1,000+ head capacity. This was 2.0% above the April 2011 number and equal to the average of the pre-report estimates. Cattle placed into feedlots were 6.4% below year ago levels. Placements were expected to be 7.7% lower, but the reported drop was within the range of estimates. Marketings were better than expected at 1.918 million head, which were 3.6% below last year but analyst expected a drop of 5.5% and the best expectation was a drop of 3.7%. The report should be viewed as neutral given that all numbers were near their expected values.
Placements by weight showed that 600 to 800 pound placements dropped by about 16%, but were bookended by slight increases as placements were up about 3% for cattle below 600 and above 800 pounds. Placements in Texas and Kansas were dominated by light weight cattle (those under 600 pounds). These were up 14.8% and 9.1%, respectively. Placements of cattle over 600 pounds in these two sates were, respectively, down 22.5% and 12.5%. On-the-other-hand, placements in Nebraska were opposite of Texas and Kansas. Nebraska placements of cattle under 600 pounds were down 16.7%, while 800+ placements were up 42.9%.
The report is summarized here:
|(1,000 head)||% of 2011||Average||Range|
|Placed during Mar||1,792||93.6%||92.3%||88.6%||–||96.9%|
|Marketed during Mar||1,918||96.4%||94.5%||93.0%||–||96.3%|
|On Feed, Apr 1||11,482||102.0%||102.0%||101.3%||–||103.1%|