Higher Than Expected Placements Take Industry by Surprise in Latest USDA Cattle on Feed ReportMon, 25 Mar 2019 11:53:36 CDT
The USDA finally caught up from its reporting delay caused by the partial government shutdown earlier this year with the release of its Cattle on Feed report for March 1, 2019 on Friday afternoon. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays reached out to OSU Extension Livestock Market Economist Dr. Derrell Peel for his reaction to the numbers in this month’s report. You can listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
“If you look at the average trade guesses, placement estimates were on average quite a bit lower than that. The upper end of placements were pretty close to this number although this number comes in even a little bigger at the top end of the range,” Peel said. “So, certainly you could say this placement number is a little bit surprising and the market may react a little bearishly to this.”
Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.8 million head on March 1, 2019. The inventory was 1 percent above March 1, 2018.
Placements in feedlots during February totaled 1.86 million head, 2 percent above 2018. Net placements were 1.79 million head. During February, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 340,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 345,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 530,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 442,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 135,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 65,000 head.
Marketings of fed cattle during February totaled 1.68 million head, slightly above 2018.
Peel says this report still leaves much uncertainty as the market continues to guess how the weather might impact trade into the near future. However, he contends demand remains supported from the supply side as boxed beef business has been rather robust this spring, while marketings of lightweight cattle seem to have buoyed demand as well - coupled with the lighter carcass weight and production aspects of the current situation.
Click here to see the USDA’s Cattle on Feed report for March 1, 2019 for yourself or listen to Peel’s complete analysis of the report with Hays, on today’s Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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