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Agricultural News

U.S. Cattle Inventory and July Cattle on Feed Both Up 2 Percent, Leffler Finds Nothing Friendly

Mon, 27 Jul 2015 12:03:02 CDT

U.S. Cattle Inventory and July Cattle on Feed Both Up 2 Percent, Leffler Finds Nothing Friendly Herd expansion continues to show progress for the U.S. cattle industry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday also showed the number of cattle on feed is also higher than year ago and beef supplies are growing in the United States. On Friday, Radio Oklahoma Network's Leslie Smith interviewed Tom Leffler of Leffler Commodities about USDA's semiannual cattle inventory report, the July cattle on feed numbers, along with providing analysis on the cold storage report released earlier in the week. Leffler said overall the reports did not have any friendly news to bring strength to the cattle complex.

"I don't think we saw any large surprises, but we did not get anything friendly out there," Leffler said.

The latest cattle on feed report showed cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the U.S. totaled 10.23 million head on July 1, 2015. That was up two percent from last year. The inventory included 6.91 million steers and steer calves, up seven percent from the previous year. This group accounted for 67 percent of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 3.33 million head, down seven percent from 2014. The July 1, 2015 heifers and heifer calves inventory is the lowest percent of total July inventory since the series began in 1996.

Leffler said the only negative part of the cattle on feed report was the placements number, as those figures came in higher than trade expectations. Placements in feedlots during June totaled 1.48 million, one percent above 2014. Net placements were 1.41 million head. During June, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 350,000, 600-699 pounds were 250,000, 700-799 pounds were 336,000, and 800 pounds and greater were 545,000. The heavy weight category was up 11.2 percent versus a year ago. Leffler said heavy weight placements were higher than year ago levels for the tenth month of the past 11 months.

"This is the lowest monthly placement number of the past 12 months, it is the fifth lowest June placement of the past 20 years," Leffler said.

Marketings of fed cattle during June totaled 1.75 million, five percent below 2014. Marketings are the lowest for June since the series began in 1996. Other disappearance totaled 69,000 during June, eight percent below 2014.

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for all feedlots totaled 12.1 million head on July 1, 2015. The inventory was up two percent from last July. Cattle on feed in feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head accounted for 85 percent of the total cattle on feed on July 1, 2015, up slightly from the previous year.

USDA also release the semiannual cattle inventory report. Leffler said all cattle and calves were slightly higher than a year ago and slightly more than what the trade was looking for. USDA reported the total cattle inventory was up two percent with 98.4 million head as of July 1, 2015. The 2015 calf crop was up one percent at 34.3 million. Beef replacement heifers were up seven percent at 4.9 million head and cows and heifers that have calved were up two percent from last year at 39.8 million.

"This is not way out of line of expectations, but it is showing we are building the cattle herd," Leffler said.

Beef supplies continue to grow in the U.S. On Wednesday, USDA released the June cold report and it showed beef stocks totaled 467.13 million pounds. Leffer said this was almost two percent lower than the May report, but an increase of 30.4 percent from a year ago. This was the seventh straight month of beef stocks being behind larger than year ago levels. Leffler said part of this can be attributed to the increase of beef imports in the U.S.

Since the June cattle on feed report came out, prices have trended lower. In the last month, Leffler said the August live cattle price has dropped $7.65, the August feeder cattle contract price has dropped $13.75, the cash cattle price in the feed yard has dropped $6, choice boxed beef has dropped $20.32 and select boxed beef has dropped $17.63.

"The last 30 days has been pretty tough on our cattle complex and I think we could see some more downside, at very best some stabilizing," Leffler said.

Click here to read USDA's full July Cattle on Feed Report.

Click Here to read USDA's full Cattle Inventory Report.

Click here to read USDA's full Cold Storage Report.



Leslie Smith interviews Tom Leffler of Leffler Commodities
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