Traders Surprised By Growth of U.S. Cattle HerdFri, 30 Jan 2015 18:03:28 CST
Traders expected the U.S. Department of Agriculture would show the nation's cowherd was growing, but the annual report came in bigger than they anticipated. Tom Leffler of Leffler Commodities said traders were surprised by higher than expected numbers for all cattle and calves, size of the nation's calf crop, and beef replacement numbers all coming in higher than trader predictions.
"So we are seeing a lot of numbers that are coming in bigger than expected," Leffler said. "So it does show that herd expansion is in progress and it's running along at a faster pace than what we had anticipated."
Radio Oklahoma Network's Leslie Smith interviewed Leffler Friday afternoon. Click on the LISTENBAR below to listen to the full interview.
USDA reported the total cattle and calves in the United States totaled 89.8 million head, one percent above the 88.5 million on January 1, 2014. All cows and heifers that have calved, totaled 39 million, up 2 percent from the 38.3 million last year.
Beef cows came in at 29.7 million, up 2 percent from last year. All heifers over 500 pounds totaled 19.2 million, up 1 percent. Beef replacement heifers had the biggest gain, up four percent to 5.8 million.
Milk cows totaled 9.3 million, up 1 percent over last year. Milk replacement heifers came in at 4.6 million, up 1 percent.
Steer over 500 pounds came in at 15.8 million, up one percent. Bulls over 500 pounds were up three percent at 2.1 million head. Calves under 500 pounds were up one percent at 13.7 million head. Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter in all feedlots totaled 13.1 million head, up 1 percent. The combined total of calves under 500 pounds, and other heifers and steers over 500 pounds outside of feedlots was 25.2 million, up 1 percent.
The nation's 2014 calf crop came in bigger than expected at 33.9 million head, up 1 percent from 2013. Calves born during the first half of 2014 were estimated at 24.6 million, up slightly from 2013.
Oklahoma and Texas showed some of the largest gains in beef cow numbers. The number of beef cows that calved in Oklahoma has grown to 1.9 million, up six percent from last year. The number of beef cows calving in Texas increased to 4.18 million. The number of beef cow replacements in Oklahoma grew about 20 percent to 405,000. Replacements in Texas increased to 710,000.
On Friday, the live and feeder cattle futures contracts closed positive with triple digit gains. With this report coming out after the markets closed, Leffler said these bigger than expected numbers look to be price negative, so he does anticipate there will a softer market when we open up on Monday morning at 9:05 CT.
Click here to read the full U.S. Cattle Inventory Report.
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