Cattle on feed in U.S. feedlots with capacity of 1,000 head or more on May 1 was 10.64 million head, down 1% from a year ago, according to the recently released May U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) “Cattle on Feed “report. This will be the 21 consecutive month that on-feed number is below the previous year level, said Ron Plain, University of Missouri economist and author of the weekly cattle outlook.
Moreover, the April placements of cattle into feedlot declined 4.9% from 2013 at 1.6 million head. During last month, placement of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 lb. were 385,000, 600-699 lb. were 255,000, 700-799 lb. 396,000 and 800 lb. and greater were 600,000.
The USDA said the marketings of fed cattle during April reached 1.78 million head, down 2.1% from last year. This is the lowest April marketings for the month since 1996.
The lower placements makes the report slightly bullish, said Plain.