U.S. Cattle On Feed Up 2%, Placements Up 9%

April placements of cattle on feed totaled 9% more than the same month a year ago. ( Wyatt Bechtel )

Cattle on feed may 1, 2019 totaled 11.8 head, 2% higher than last year. That’s the highest May 1 inventory since the series began in 1996.

Placements in April totaled 1.84 million head, 9% more than a year ago. Net placements were 1.78 million head.

Analysts expected a large placement number, but the average of their estimates was 13.5% higher. While the reported 9% increase is still large, it is notable that last year’s April placements were relatively light at 1.695 million head. In 2017, April placements were 1.848 million head.

During April of 2019, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 355,000 head; 600-699 pounds were 250,000 head; 700-799 pounds were 447,000 head; 800-899 pounds were 495,000 head; 900-999 pounds were 210,000 head; and 1,000 pounds and greater were 85,000 head.

Marketings of fed cattle during April totaled 1.93 million head, 7% higher than in April 2018. Other disappearance totaled 60,000 head during April, 5 percent below 2018.

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